Friendly Fire - Sean Lennon

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 92
    A patient, assured album where nearly every sound feels appropriate. [#22, p.93]
  2. Fire passes in an enchanting sort of basement-cabaret haze, all pretty melodies and haunting orchestral arrangements. [3 Nov 2006, p.78]
  3. Musically and lyrically the album is thoughtful and mature.
  4. 80
    Sean Lennon continues to impress. [Nov 2006, p.104]
  5. 80
    A 10-track masterclass in spectral, psychedelicised pop, it's awash with great tunes and soaring arrangements. [Nov 2006, p.117]
  6. 80
    Instead of avoiding the comparisons, Sean Lennon succeeds by reveling in the kind of pop that runs through his family's genes. [Oct 2006, p.124]
  7. An album of angry, guilty, sad -- and often stunningly pretty -- songs. [5 Oct 2006, p.68]
  8. Lennon isn’t attempting to re-invent the wheel with Friendly Fire; he’s just writing a narrative using thoroughly enjoyable pop melodies.
  9. The melodies and production are top-notch, even if, lyrically, the album’s motifs barely move from sullen dismay to cheery dismay.
  10. It is lush, not airy like its predecessor, and while the songs on their surface remain light, they retain a certain musical heft that keeps the album grounded. [#15]
  11. Friendly Fire is better than anyone could have predicted.
  12. A collection of gentle, sun-kissed pop guaranteed to be easy on the ears.
  13. Humble and resigned to a fault.
  14. At first it seems fairly plain, built around Lennon's thin voice (friendly, if lacking fire)....Yet there's more to the album, most explicitly in the spiked words -- troubled, uncertain, seeking security in an impermanent world. [24 Sep 2006]
  15. A bittersweet second album of gentle strumming and washed-out summer sun. [30 Sep 2006, p.37]
  16. 60
    The melodies are well-shaped and the lyrics twist their knives elegantly. [Dec 2006, p.174]
  17. 60
    Though not blessed with the strength of his father's voice, he makes the most of Dad's knack for pretty melody. [Nov 2006, p.102]
  18. Friendly Fire has the same feel as Into the Sun: namely, it's a pleasant but forgettable arty pop record made by a guy who has some promise but little discipline.
  19. With Friendly Fire, we get a number of concepts and stabs at self-aware dynamics, but we mostly just see the over-privileged slacker.
  20. The moments where Lennon lays himself most bare... reveal there's still a gulf between his own pop and his father's universal sound.
  21. Friendly Fire's real problem is that Lennon keeps coming up with airy melodies that recall his father's work, only they don't really sound like John anymore, they sound like Elliott Smith.
  22. He's not so much turning into his father... as his wimpy half-brother Julian. [Nov 2006, p.143]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. MarkK
    Nov 11, 2006
    Great album. Light and melodic, nice and melancholic. Just pleasant to hear it on sunday morning.
  2. Sep 8, 2011
    This is a decent album that reminds me of a Wes Anderson film that has not yet been made. The comparisons between Sean Lennon and his father are unavoidable; I mean, they're related. I don't understand the criticism that Sean is "trying to hard to be his dad." The lyrics on "Friendly Fire" , "Dead Meat" and "Diamonds" stand out for having well-crafted lines and imagery. The supplemental DVD that comes with most editions of the album transforms the songs into a cohesive artistic expression. Overall, this is more of an "experience" than an album. Full Review »
  3. Feb 18, 2011
    Wonderfully different =) He reminds me of John so much but this album is so modern without being stereotypically modern. I also like how I can't describe his style to my friends Full Review »