Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Into the Sun
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
If you took the artist's name off this record, you'd still be charmed by its dazzling eclecticism and sunny, low-key spirit. But given the weight of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's musical legacy, son Sean's achievement seems a... more »
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If you took the artist's name off this record, you'd still be charmed by its dazzling eclecticism and sunny, low-key spirit. But given the weight of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's musical legacy, son Sean's achievement seems all the more impressive. Into the Sun finds the young Lennon working in a wide variety of styles, from the suave bossa nova of the title track and the Beach Boys-fashioned "Queue" to the trippy psychedelia of "Spaceship" and the funky jazz instrumental "Photosynthesis." "Home" offers crunching power chords, while "Part One of the Cowboy Trilogy" is a hokey country send up in the style of his dad's band's "Rocky Raccoon." Holding everything together is Lennon's voice, which is reedy and sometimes a little unwieldy, but as open and honest as his lyrics, many of which are inspired by his girlfriend, Cibo Matto keyboardist Yuka Honda (who co-produced the record). For someone with so much to live up to, Lennon more than acquits himself with this fine debut. --Daniel Durchholz
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You can tell who's genes this kid has...
Ginchey | Portland, Oregon | 03/02/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
I give this cd 3 and a half stars. Sean is Absolutely 1/2 Yoko and and 1/2 John, which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. It must be hard getting any acceptance as an artist and musician having to follow a father as famous as Sean's. I want to resist comparing the two (Julian as well) but it's extremely difficult. So I won't fight it. Sean's Yoko half dominates (much like Yoko seemed to dominate John) in that most people would consider much of this album to be a little extreme and uneven. The John in Sean seems to shine through in some spots and creates some great moments on this album. At least there's no Yoko-like screeching.
Songs from John's psychedelic period have some similarities in their use extensive texture and trippy arrangements. Sean uses some suprisingly organic synth parts (Mystery Juice, Queue), the panning (using of left and right stereo channels) is quite similar to a lot of Beatles stuff (check the placement of drums and guitar being extreme left and right respectively on Bathtub). I don't know if Sean had much to do with it, as it could just be the sound engineer's choice. Sean's voice sounds like John only subtlely on this album.
Mystery Juice - A strong track with a great melody and ballsy chorus. A smart choice to begin the album with this track in that it sort of sums up the flavor.
Into The Sun - Weaker track. Islandy jazz duet with his GF that goes on a little too long in my opinion.. although, the melody is strangely infectious. I like Sean's voice in his low register best.
Home - A decent track. Cool use of vibraphone and neat backing vox creates a nice mellow feel. The chorus on this tune is catchy and rocks.
Bathtub - A decent track. Beatle-ish production quality and mixing. Lacking both a climax and a catchy melody.
One Night - Throwaway (but sometimes those are good, right?). Lacks dynamic.. and just sort of goes on... luckily it's short enough to avoid becoming tedious. Very 'singer/songwriter.'
Space Ship - A stronger track. Cool finger picking on the guitar, excellent chord progression. These lyrics seem stronger than the rest. Great melody. This songs seems more developed than most of the others.
Photosynthesis - A Throwaway. These are talented guys, but this little interlude doesn't do anything for me.
Queue - Strong track. It sounds more like a Beatle song than any of the rest, although some compare it to the Beach boys, I think it's more Beatle-ish because of devices like the reversed instrumentation, organ intro, jaunty "penny lane"-ish beat and simple voiced harmony parts.
Two fine Lovers - decent. the melody is catchy and the groove on the wah-bass combined with a few tasteful synth parts makes this track more dynamic than the weaker tracks on the album.
Part one of the Cowboy Trilogy - Novelty song. Rocky Raccoon meets Bungalow Bill, only not as good.
Wasted - Throwaway track. Sean improvising over two chords.
Breeze - Weaker track. Good melody but drags on and on.
Sean's Theme - throway track. Starts out with a decent melody and instrumentation but suffers from lack of development and Yoko-type weirdness towards the end.
I'm suprised that this kid's melodic sense seems to be stronger than John's in some ways. John had a habit of sticking to one note for many of his melodies, then moving up or down in small intervals (think Lucy in the Sky "follow her down...", Julia "half of what I say", and Come Together "here come old flat..."). When he did move, it wasn't as frequent as Paul, who liked to jump around more with his melodies. Although this kid's melodies are suprisingly dynamic I don't feel that it's enough to match his father's stuff... but again, it isn't really fair to hold him to that standard.
The stronger componants of this album are Sean's sense of melody and texture. Songs like Mystery Juice, Spaceship, Bathtub and Queue take full advantage of this texture sensibility. Songs like 'Photosynthesis' and 'Sean's theme,' where his jazz influences dominate, are probably too artsy or weird for most casual listeners to enjoy.
Though extremely unique in sound, Sean's voice is very weak and nasal... not to mention out of tune! If you're Bob Dylan and a great poet, then it's easier to overlook this kind of thing.. but much like John, Sean's creative ideas seem to out-pace his musical talents... though not technically a good singer, John's voice was more in tune and had a very present quality to it (even though John liked to have it run through filters during the Beatle years). Sean has no power or presence to his voice, but he makes up for it with good melodic and harmonic ideas. Perhaps some voice lessons and a few years will yield a stronger voice in the future. Sean's songwriting on this album is uneven, but he's bubbling with good ideas. I'm looking forward to his next release."
A Refreshing Change
Kristy Dillon | USA | 02/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sean Lennon's music is so misunderstood. Granted, he is the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. But does he cash in on their names? I think not. When Sean first got the idea to record an album he could have went to any major recording label and signed with them simply because of the Lennon name. He chose not to do this, instead signing with Grand Royal, a smaller recording label. Sean is not afraid to test out new waters. All of the songs on Into The Sun are unique and refreshing, unlike the sound-all-the-same songs put out by The Backstreet Boys, In-Sync and Britney Spears.Like his mother, Sean is ahead of his time, introducing songs that are not top 40-like but instead songs that have true meanings and heart within the songs. I have seen Sean twice in concert and he is one of the most polite people I have ever met. He interacts with his fans and you can tell he loves making music. If you are tired of listening to teeny bopper music, why not give Sean a chance? If you listen with an open mind to the music and the lyrics, you might find yourself plesantly suprised."
Great Debut Album
Eric Hammond | Everett, WA | 01/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, Sean Lennon has put together a good album. His singing is laid-back, a rather soft spoken approach, which captures his uniqueness. Although his voice is limited in some aspects it is backed with some great acoustic guitar playing, for Sean is also a wonderful musician. The album is held together mainly by three catchy tunes I'm sure anyone can enjoy: 'Mystery Juice', 'Home', and 'Spaceship'. These songs are the most up-beat out of the album, and hopefully portray what we will see in future albums. I'm disgusted with people that try to compare Sean's music with that of his father's. Just let him play what he wants so he can develop his own style. He has obviously had the influences of great music talent, and at such a young age, he definitely has plenty of time to fine tune his skills. I had the opportunity of meeting Sean after his concert, and found him to be a wonderful person with an amazing aura. His music also gives off this feeling, one which to those purchasing the album, 'Into The Sun', shall also find enlightening."