The Beatles were stuck with the curse of incredible fame. It finally killed John Lennon, 26 years ago. His son Julian didn’t seem to be able to build his own identity apart from that of his father. There’s that bit in Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll where Chuck Berry seems to force Julian to be a stand-in for John; it always makes me sad, even though I don’t think it’s meant that way.
Sean Lennon seems to have been raised in a very protective fashion by his mother and he’s always come across as a fairly normal guy. His first album Into the Sun (1998 ) was a very indie affair, appearing on the Beastie Boys’ label, Grand Royal Records. His then-girlfriend Yuka Honda co-produced and her fellow Cibo Matto band members Timo Ellis and Miho Hatori also appeared. There were bits of bossa nova and lo-fi electronics.
Now his second album Friendly Fire is just out and he has a new sound. The thing is, the point of comparison is not his father. It’s that he sounds exactly like Jon Brion. Long-time readers will recall that I am a huge JB fan, so this isn’t a bad thing, but it is kind of odd. Jon contributes organ, guitar and drums to the album, so he was around at times. But Lennon’s songs sound like Brion songs and his vocals have a similar nasal quality.
Have a listen and decide for yourself.
Sean Lennon – Wait For Me — BUY Sean Lennon – On Again Off Again — BUY