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Friendly Fire (CD+DVD)

4.3 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 3, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Following Into the Sun, Lennon's acclaimed 1998 solo debut, Friendly Fire is a cinematic suite of songs which share the same dizzying wealth of musical styles as its predecessor, but eschews some of its freeform tendencies for more traditional song structure and some unifying themes.

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Nowadays, no one anywhere is expecting the Beatles progeny to produce material approaching the greatness of their pops. This means they can finally relax and just make some music, which would seem to suit the younger Lennon boy just fine. Fire is a piano- and guitar-driven collection of likeable, melancholic, Elliott Smith-y, Rufus Wainwright-ish pop music. The brief, sing-songy, Clapton-by-numbers guitar solos are a bit of a puzzler, but it's not like they're bad by any means. The guest appearances are a strange lot. His mother's here, longtime collaborator Yuka Honda as well, and Beastie Boy DJ Money Mark, too (which makes sense as Sean used to be on Grand Royal and the whole album has a mid '90s vibe to it). All these sleazy Hollywood types creep in here, too: Vincent Gallo, Lindsay Lohan, "superstar" DJ Steve Aoki. Thankfully, it sounds a lot better than any MisShapes party. Lennon sings "Let's hide the diamonds and cocaine for another day/But don't forget to pray," so maybe the dude isn't the best lyricist around. But Friendly Fire is really very good throughout. It's easily the finest music made by a Lennon since, well, you know. --Mike McGonigal
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: October 3, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000HIP4I8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,266 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Junglies VINE VOICE on October 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
from start to finish, friendly fire is better than any solo LP sean's father ever made except for IMAGINE and, if you're a music geek, PLASTIC ONO BAND.

all you people with your comparisons to john lennon, give me a break.

john lennon was a genius. but his longplayers were notoriously uneven. sure, the guy could hit with amazing power but he could whiff every bit as often...and did.

what's more, none of you are even acknowledging the other 50% of his DNA. yoko ono has also given the world some amazing music, even if only an enlightened few give her any credit.

but enough of about daddy and mummy.

FRIENDLY FIRE is an unbelievable musical expression of heartache -- a type of heartache none of us will ever know. your lifelong best friend steals your life partner, only to die in a motorcycle accident before any peace can be made between anyone.

this even one-ups the whole eric clapton & george harrison & pattie boyd saga.

and sean didn't just create a song about this nightmare; he devoted an entire release to it.

and while it is anything but happy, it is masterfully crafted. mp3 people, if you don't want to buy the whole thing (at first), download WILL I BE THE ONE, PARACHUTE and SPECTACLE. this CD is an essential display of pop music striking a massive minor chord in life.

kudos to all of you giving it the praise it deserves. even more kudos to everyone imploring all the beatle/lennon lovers to think outside their beatle boxes. (it is almost 2010, people.)

props to sean for making the song cycle that his heart told him to make, not a bunch of beancounters.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
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.
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