Picks and Pans Review: Into the Sun
Sean Lennon (Grand Royal)
As part of an all-star tribute to his late father several years ago, Sean Lennon sang a version of "Dear Prudence" in a reedy, haunted voice that sounded uncannily like that of his papa John's. On this, his first solo CD (with his keyboardist girlfriend Yuka Honda and members of her band, Cibo Matto), the now 22-year-old Lennon plays guitar and sings his own songs in a mix of styles that includes jazz-lite, country and heavy metal. But Lennon is so laid-back he never musters the fire and passion that propelled the work of his famous forebear. Regrettably, too, his material is so insubstantial as to make the album seem like a demo tape that, lacking the artist's last name, would never have gotten farther than his living room. Lennon laces his disc with bossa nova rhythms, moody piano, trumpet and softly brushed snares and only occasional bursts from his electric guitar. The album proceeds languidly, and the innocuous lyrics ("And when the day is done/I will follow you into the sun") don't help matters much. Apart from the lilting tune "Queue," with its Beatles-esque harmonies, Lennon sounds as if he has been listening to too much Sergio Mendes.
Bottom Line: A first effort best left in the shadows
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