Sean Lennon

Into the Sun

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Forget for a moment that Sean Lennon is the son of John Lennon. Forget that he's the heir apparent to St. John's position as "the voice of a generation" (Julian was forced to abdicate the throne after his albums simply stopped selling). Judge Into the Sun on its own terms, as a debut album from an unknown artist. First of all, it doesn't sound like the work of a hungry artist; it sounds like the project of a privileged soul, someone who has enough time to mess around in the studio. It's an eclectic album, but it's unfocused, wandering around from Beach Boys harmonies to faux jazz, winding back to near-Beatlesque melodies -- ironically, much closer to McCartney than Lennon -- and bossa nova, with little analog synth blips working their way into the cracks. On paper it sounds promising, and it occasionally is, such as on the breezy title track and catchy "Queue." More often, though, the music is muted and unformed, sounding like incomplete sketches. Lennon has a thin, reedy voice that only emphasizes the feebleness of his melodies. Although the execution is lacking, his ideas are often good, provided he doesn't drag himself into the smug superiority that plagues such cuts as "Part One of the Cowboy Trilogy." Therefore, Into the Sun is a promising but severely flawed record -- but it does suggest that Lennon will be able to deliver a better one quite soon.

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