Sean Lennon, 'Friendly Fire' (Capitol)

Friendly Fire
Critical Mass
Label: Capitol

by Liam Gowing

Reminiscent of half-brother Julian's undervalued 1999 album Photograph Smile, Lennon's sophomore outing is a whole step up from his debut, Into the Sun. On this uniformly pleasant affair, John's son struggles, with surprising success, to overcome the burden of surname-related expectations. Though not blessed with the strength of his father's voice, he makes the most of Dad's knack for pretty melody, crafting a nicely textured album of wistful waltzes, rainy-day ballads, and pinwheel pop tunes.

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