More Sean Lennon from Friendly Fire, and the song that I find reminds me most of Elliott Smith from the album, whether it’s the shuffling drums and slowly loping guitar (Both of which remind me very strongly of “Stupidity Tries,” from Figure 8, for some reason) or the slightly off-kilter arrangement that makes the whole thing sound a little like a space-age lounge act that is slowly evaporating while their singer croons his pain away into the ether. It lacks the soul-burning qualities of Smith’s best stuff – and even his worst, let’s be honest – but there’s something more easy to relate to with Lennon’s relationship misery. After all, who hasn’t wished that they could put a break-up on hold just for one night to feel a little less lonely…?
I could’ve sworn I’d written about this before, but apparently not. Sean Lennon’s Friendly Fire was the album that got me really paying attention to him after years of his showing up on other people’s albums (Handsome Boy Modeling School! Deltron 3030!) out of nowhere. It’s the album in which his arch, hipsterness gave way to something that was more similar in sound to Elliott Smith (whose music was, of course, heavily influenced by Lennon’s father), and the result is rather lovely in places. Like “Dead Meat,” for example, a song that sweetly threatens and cajoles, disguising its bile behind a toy melody and sweeping strings (That moment at 3:40, when the strings come in for one last flourish? Man, I love that), making “You get what you deserve” sound less mean and more… what? Pleasant, happy karma? Perhaps.