MUSIC + FILM - CD/DVD ... Sean Lennon has produced a short film for each of the album's tracks, directed by Michele Civetta. The fantastical shorts, which together comprise a conceptual film about betrayal and the failu... more »re of love, feature appearances from Lennon and friends including Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, Asia Argento, Carrie Fisher, Devon Aoki, Jordana Brewster and others. Contributing musicians on the CD include Jon Brion, Cibo Matta's Yuka Honda and Bijou Phillips.« less
MUSIC + FILM - CD/DVD ... Sean Lennon has produced a short film for each of the album's tracks, directed by Michele Civetta. The fantastical shorts, which together comprise a conceptual film about betrayal and the failure of love, feature appearances from Lennon and friends including Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, Asia Argento, Carrie Fisher, Devon Aoki, Jordana Brewster and others. Contributing musicians on the CD include Jon Brion, Cibo Matta's Yuka Honda and Bijou Phillips.
Jes G. (jesgear) from DAVENPORT, IA Reviewed on 7/4/2012...
"On Again Off Again"
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Go Your Own Way
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 10/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being the progeny of a famous, if not the most famous, rock star and an avant garde artist must be a double edged sword. It certainly opens doors which would be otherwise closed but at the same time it leads to comparisons with the parents and expectations which cannot possibly be met.
Friendly Fire has drawn praise and criticism from many quarters but it is almost as if everyone wants and expects a John Lennon album rather than a Sean Lennon original. His half-brother Julian gained a lot of praise from his first album, but to my mind the praise was pedicated on the similarity of the sounds, words and music to that of his father.
I was drawn to this, the second album, by a preview on the artist's myspace page of Dead Meat. What struck me about that particular song were the simple yet powerful lyrics describing betrayal and at once and the same time sorrowful that the betrayer was his best friend. The other aspect of the song that immediately caught my ear...the WOW factor, was a particular phrase of the string accompaniment which I feel is superb.
The album itself is primarily ballad material, unsurprising given the background to it. I find that the singer's phrasing is articulate and clever whilst the lyrics in general are not as simple as they sound. Friendly fire is a powerful title to describe an affair of the heart but the image it brings up is very telling of devastation.
It seems to me that Sean has an ear for melody which matches his lyricism and this is evident throughout. What results is an album which is a pleasure to listen to and to think about. It is emotive and Sean seems to be a nice guy who gets hurt but bounces back and does not hold grudges. In his own way he seems to want to strike out against being his father's son but he also seems to realise that he cannot quite escape that legacy yet.
I enjoyed the album. I like Sean's work and I wish him success in his quest to become the professional musician he aspires to be. I think he should be judged purely on his own merits but alas I fear that whatever he does he is going to be compared to one of the two larger than life figures in his upbringing regardless of whether or not that is justified.
Keep up the good work."
Lightweight But Pretty
Scrappy McGowan | Ann Arbor, MI | 10/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While I agree with the assertion that the AMG review of Friendly Fire was a bit heavy-handed and unfair with its description of Lennon's career as a "rich kid's holiday", I can't disagree with reviewer Erlewine's assertion that the album is just a bit lightweight.
This is not a bad album, it's just not anything exceptional or different. The album takes no chances sonically, harmonically, melodically or lyrically- it's merely pretty. Pretty in this case is not bad, it's just not exciting.
Lennon's voice is thin, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but unlike Lennon's friend Rufus Wainwright who can take his similarly thin voice and make it soar with beautiful melodies and symphonic arrangements, Lennon's voice and songs tend to just sit there. To my ear it just lacks adventurousness.
The album reminds me a bit of James Iha's solo effort, "Let It Come Down", which was a nice and gentle album, but one that felt just this side of being fluffy. Nothing wrong with being fluffy, but when I'm in the mood for pretty music I'd rather listen to The Innocence Mission."
MusicFan27 | Central PA | 04/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am actually very surprised to see negative reviews by so many people. I admit that I was a little skeptical about this album being that it is from Sean Lennon. I didn't know whether it would sound like John Lennon or something completely strange. When I first heard it, I was kinda neutral on it. As I continued to listen to it, I found that it was a great album. I really enjoy his use of minor chords. I saw that on an album review for "Into the Sun", someone said that his voice is out of tune. I do not own, "Into the Sun" so I cannot speak for that album, but I do play three instruments and I do know what out of tune sounds like, and he certainly is not on "Friendly Fire". Yeah, there is not much fluctuation on the tracks. They do tend to have a similar sound, but I still find the album enjoyable and something to just chill to. He is definitely an artist that is a "required taste". (Just like Bob Dylan-who is someone that I do not enjoy.) Personally, I really enjoy the album from the songs to his mellow voice. I guess to each his own."
greenearth_octobersky | Cummington, MA United States | 12/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We're so used to either heavy-handed rock or flashy-overdone pop that when something even-handed and quietly inventive comes along, it takes a while for our ears to adjust. If you're not convinced by the short previews available here on Amazon, do yourself a favor and go over to YouTube to the "seanlennonofficial" channel and watch (or listen to) the videos.
This is really good stuff. And don't read the bio here - it puts way too much emphasis on who his parents are. This guy is his own man, doing his own music. It's much more like some of the best of his contemporaries - say Elliot Smith, Kings of Convenience, even a bit of Stereolab-ish or non-manic Cornelius than anything from his dad's generation.
He definitely stands on his own as one of the more intelligent, rich, creative contributions to music in recent years."
Son of Two Legends
Steven Haarala | Mandeville, LA USA | 11/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"He could have spent his life in secluded, idle luxury in The Dakota, high over Central Park. Instead, Sean Lennon chose to develop the musical gifts that he inherited from his two prodigious parents. The fact that he sings these songs, produced the album, wrote the bulk of the material and plays various instruments shows that his determination paid off. And the fact that his parents were trailblazers would not, and should not, indicate that he has to be one as well.
When I began to listen to this album, my first impression was to agree with many other reviewers, who called it "light", as in, I guess, Adult Contemporary. Pretty, melodic, breezy - all these adjectives fit, but the "light" tag bothered me. I was hearing something more, but for a while, just what it was eluded me. Then I read that Sean was educated at an exclusive private boarding school in Switzerland. THEN, I saw a clip on his myspace site where he is conversing in French with a French collaborator, known simply as -M- . And it came to me: his music has a "European" flavor. It's hard to pinpoint, but, for example, "Dead Meat" begins with a piano intro that made me think "old world waltz"; and indeed, the entire track does have a waltzy feel. In "Wait For Me", he sings, "I'll be waiting for you, my dear", which, again, sounds old-worldish. Even more difficult to substantiate is my perception that many of the melodies sound European rather than American, and that "Tomorrow" has an old world instrumental background. And the album in general is on the melancholy side, in contrast to the brighter, more dynamic approach of most American music. All of this gives the album an air of sophistication that lifts it above most American Adult Contemporary, which aims to please the masses. I imagine that it comes naturally to Sean, and it is the unique expression of a young man who grew up in very unique circumstances.
Two more words are essential here: eclectic, and Beatlesque (redundant, perhaps?). At the end of "Wait For Me", we hear psychedelic guitar in an otherwise gentle arrangement. "Spectacle" features Harrison-like guitar, also heard frequently in the music of Sheryl Crow. "Parachute" uses interesting chord changes and an organ. Most of the tracks have these uncommon chord changes, as well as changes in key from major to minor; the latter is very prominent in "On Again Off Again", which reminds me of the music in "I Love Your Work", a film which features a European movie-within-a-movie. "Headlights" is the most upbeat track, with the hand-clapping you've heard in many Top 40 songs through the years. "Would I Be The One" has slick, tricky harmonies, with strings like chamber music in the middle, then a long, possibly overdone ending which redeems itself in an acoustic guitar fade-out. In the final track, "Falling Out Of Love", I believe I'm hearing a little touch of Pink Floyd, maybe?
Sean is not a strong vocalist, but when you are dealing with the singer/songwriter genre, the vocal is only one component, especially when the artist is also the producer. You have to consider the total package, and its effect. A good example is Carole King, who, even with her "thin" voice, sold millions of records and ranks as one of the world's most influential and prolific songwriters.
The DVD consists of a video for each song. They are interesting in an offbeat way, as you would expect from the son of John and Yoko, but I don't think the top actors and directors in Hollywood have anything to worry about. "