Graham Reid | | 1 min read
It's an odd thing that James McCartney and Julian Lennon encountered a damned-if they do and damned-if they-don't critical reception to their albums with regard to them sounding like the pedigree they inherited.
Dhani Harrison seems to be have been given an easier ride by critics (in fact his band thenewno2 went largely unreviewed and the "supergroup" with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur was so dire few would bother to write about it. Elsewhere did.)
Of all the Beatles progeny who entered the world their dads once dominated -- Zac Starkey's fine tub-thumping career with the Who and others excepted -- it has been Sean Lennon's unpredictable career which has provided the most interest.
He's been a keen member of the current Plastic Ono Band and his solo albums or collaborations have always been "interesting". ("A word which suspends judgment," observed the late Robert Hughes).
There's frequently an off-best pyschedelic quality at work across Lennon's various iterations (under his own name, or in bands, collaborations and guest appearances) and this one with Primus bassist Les Claypool is no exception.
Although it's worth reporting the two-part piece Cricket and the Genie embraces late Sixties psych-prog in its first "Movement" and by the end of the second Movement it's well down the rabbit hole.
Claypool's virtuoso bass-snap/funk drives some of these 11 pieces (try Mr Wright or Breath of a Salesman for size) and when they dial it back a little something more considered and less freak-flag flies well. The dreamy Bubbles Burst is as close as they get to a cohesive song and it's rather prog-nice.
But the whole does sound influenced by late-Barrett Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa's wit (the final track is There's No Underwear in Space) as it does the cornerstone of Claypool's "because-I-can" playing.
If prog is your tipple then this is here for you
Otherwise this is only of marginal interest (because of the players' pedigrees) and will be of no discernible influence.