Sean Lennon
"Friendly Fire"

(Capitol Records 2006)Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire

What can be said about Sean Lennon that has not yet already been said to the point of exhaustion? Regardless of all that criticism he is sure to receive, you have to give the guy credit for sticking with his family business. On "Friendly Fire," Lennon makes some changes to the formula he used for "Into The Sun," filling out his melodies and still retaining his soft and delicate sound.

While it takes a while to get somewhere, the finger-picking guitar and bittersweet melody of the title track ends up being a gem of the album. The charming ballad reminiscent of yesteryear, "Tomorrow," table ends the piano-led "Falling Out Of Love" well, bringing out the smooth and understated aspects of both. Similarly, "Dead Meat" floats on an airy melody as "Wait For Me" puts Lennon's vocals ability more into the forefront as he croons like a reserved Rufus Wainwright. Elsewhere Lennon revisits his past; in this case, it his EP "Half Horse Half Musician," with a richer version of the memorable cover of Marc Bolan's "Would I Be The One." On "Headlights," hand claps add to the trippy feel of the sleepy melody while with "Spectacle," Lennon takes the easy route out.

Not to be forgotten is the 50-minute long DVD that comes packaged with "Friendly Fire." Lennon takes a note from rock band The Sun, offering a video version of each song on the album with some short skits to bring it all together. The practice of art school romance, where each video has Lennon in a different scenario -- one minute dying in a sword fight for Asia Argento and the next playing the lovable underdog nerd working at the local roller skate joint -- comes off more as exaggerated and an excuse to show off famous friends, most notably Hollywood party girls like Lindsay Lohan and Bijou Phillips.

His lofty videos aside, Sean Lennon's "Friendly Fire" is either love it or hate it. While his gentle melodies are easy to push aside, a careful listen reveals their carefully crafted aesthetic and appeal. Exploring a more mature and less experimental side of himself, Lennon makes "Friendly Fire" sound appropriately intimate.

B

buy it!