Local Wire

Sean Lennon

No rock-star kid ever made a more endearing record than Sean Lennon's 1998 debut Into the Sun, a Double Fantasy for hipsters produced by his Japanese girlfriend, Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda. Taking cues from Tropicalia, cocktail jazz and '90s art-pop, Lennon's lounge-adelic take on the sounds of the British Invasion didn't rock much, but it wasn't easy listening. This is easy listening. Which is not to say it isn't brilliant in its own right. Several tracks recall the melancholy popcraft of Elliott Smith at his most Lennonesque, whether making the most of an aching falsetto on the richly textured waltz of the opener, "Dead Meat," or hanging a notion as dark as "Everyone is born to die" on a breathtaking, "Magical Mystery Tour"-worthy melody. It's not a happy album, fueled by heartache, fatalism and regret, but like his dad, he offsets all that pain with a natural gift for melody. There's no sign of the youthful exuberance with which he dabbled on Into the Sun. But he's traded it in for a sense of cohesiveness and purpose. Now would someone get him laid?
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ed Masley