"Alter Egos (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" by Sean Lennon on iTunes

20 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a son of one of the 20th century's most important musicians, it's understandable that Sean Lennon has kept a somewhat low profile and not tried to tangle with a legacy nobody could be expected to match. He appears to have hit upon something in recent years with scoring films: specifically, those of his friend Jordan Galland, who had Lennon exercise his orchestration muscle for the Shakespearean vampire satire Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead. Galland's 2012 film Alter Egos—in which superheroes are plagued by the day-to-day worries of mortal men—gives Lennon another opportunity to play with a variety of styles from incidental movements to lightweight retro-pop and dance grooves, with vocals from Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori. Snatches of dialogue filter through and are used strategically, setting up the spaghetti western/surf rock of "Emily Vs. Claudel" and the blackboard-jungle '50s-styled guitars of "The Dance Pt. 1." Rather than attempt grand statements, Lennon does well when he's messing about with and adding to other people's ideas. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a son of one of the 20th century's most important musicians, it's understandable that Sean Lennon has kept a somewhat low profile and not tried to tangle with a legacy nobody could be expected to match. He appears to have hit upon something in recent years with scoring films: specifically, those of his friend Jordan Galland, who had Lennon exercise his orchestration muscle for the Shakespearean vampire satire Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead. Galland's 2012 film Alter Egos—in which superheroes are plagued by the day-to-day worries of mortal men—gives Lennon another opportunity to play with a variety of styles from incidental movements to lightweight retro-pop and dance grooves, with vocals from Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori. Snatches of dialogue filter through and are used strategically, setting up the spaghetti western/surf rock of "Emily Vs. Claudel" and the blackboard-jungle '50s-styled guitars of "The Dance Pt. 1." Rather than attempt grand statements, Lennon does well when he's messing about with and adding to other people's ideas. 

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

8 Ratings

Telling a story through sound.

JasperLoud,

Sean Lennon proved in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead," that he had a gift for telling a story through music. Behind the haunting melodies, dark and sinister undertones, is a strong sense of humor. The music provides a backdrop for the visual medium, but what was excellent about his work on that first film, is that by staying true to his eclectic prowess, a visual marvel springs to the mind just by listening to the music on its own. Where Rosencrantz was his debutante ball (in the film medium), Alteregos shows a sophomore effort that is far more sophisticated, eclectic and enjoyable.

Alteregos is built with that same eclectic ear for different musical mediums. Whether its a marvelous doo-wop, 60's Spector Era composition in "My Hero," or the electronica pulsing "Fridge Walks," Lennon proves he can tell a story with his music alone. But its the more traditional soundtrack components, the instrumentals that resemble a modern day Spaghetti Western, or an homage to Air's fantastic score to "The Virgin Diaries." These instrumental tracks do the most for me as a listener - they transport me somewhere else, and without having seen the film (as of yet), I am already marvelously attached to "Alteregos."

Lennon has already proved himself to be an accomplished singer/songewriter. But it's his work as a film's composer that he think he shows real promise, as Lennon could be as good as John Barry, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, and most recently, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

Telling a story through music alone is incredible difficult, and Lennon fulfills this with masterful skill.

any one else realize this?

Vichammer,

Sean is an AMAZING song writer.. wonderful melodies. Has surpassed his half-brother Julian with musical skills already. They really should work together.

About Sean Lennon

As the son of John Lennon, perhaps the most beloved Beatle, and avant-garde musician Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon was a celebrity before he even began his recording career. That may be the reason why he didn't choose straight-ahead pop as his musical vocation, like his half-brother Julian did. Instead, he cleverly positioned himself between pop and experimental, taking his cue from such kaleidoscopic '90s multiculturists as the Beastie Boys, Beck, and Cibo Matto. To many ears, his 1998 debut album, Into the Sun, had unexpectedly eclectic roots and a laid-back vibe, earning him positive critical reviews and securing a modest place in the post-alternative hierarchy.

Ten years before Into the Sun, such a transformation seemed unlikely. But toward the end of the '80s, Lennon began to emerge from the seclusion that marked the years following his father's assassination. During his childhood, he was educated in Swiss boarding schools, but occasionally appeared on his mother's albums and sang on the 1984 Ono tribute Every Man Has a Woman. In his early teens, he was occasionally seen decked out in a plastic Thriller jacket and hanging out with Michael Jackson, but his first official step into the spotlight was in the form of filmed interviews for the 1988 documentary Imagine: John Lennon.

Three years later, he organized -- with Ono and Lenny Kravitz -- a star-studded re-recording of his father's "Give Peace a Chance" as a protest to the Gulf War. That year, he also appeared on Kravitz's album Mama Said. Shortly afterward, he retreated from the spotlight again, deciding to attend Columbia University. He spent only a few semesters at college before he dropped out of school to hang out in the New York indie rock scene. He encouraged his mother to begin performing again, supporting her in a noise rock trio named IMA; the trio was featured on Ono's 1995 album Rising and backed her on her subsequent tour. During that time, Lennon met Cibo Matto, who were hired to remix a song on Ono and IMA's EP, and he became Cibo Matto's touring bassist as well as keyboardist Yuka Honda's boyfriend. For a short while in the mid-'90s, he was touring with both IMA and Cibo Matto; it was the first time he was on the road playing music for an extended period of time.

Once the touring was completed, Lennon played some of his songs to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. Impressed with the demos, Yauch asked Lennon if he wanted to record a solo album for the Beasties' label, Grand Royal. He accepted the offer and had Honda produce the resulting album, Into the Sun. A mellow, eclectic album that bounces between bossa nova and alternative rock, Into the Sun was released in the spring of 1998. Journalists and observers were ready to spot musical similarities between Sean and his father, but perhaps the clearest shared trait was an ability to unwittingly stick his foot in his mouth just like his dad. Shortly before Into the Sun, he gave an interview to The New Yorker, claiming his father was assassinated by the American government. It helped stir up interest for his debut album, but he didn't need it, since the rock press was already eager to run stories about him -- not only was he the heir to rock royalty, he had the Grand Royal stamp of approval. Consequently, Into the Sun received strong reviews and, on the basis of those reviews, earned a small following, debuting at number 153 on the charts.

When Grand Royal folded in 2001, Lennon found himself without a label, but Capitol soon signed him. However, it wasn't until 2006 that he released new material. His second album, the mostly piano-driven Friendly Fire, appeared that fall and featured contributions from Honda, Ono, Money Mark, and Vincent Gallo. In 2008, Lennon formed a new project with Charlotte Kemp Muhl called the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. In 2009, they performed at the opening of the independent film Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead, which Lennon had scored. GOASTT released the critically acclaimed LP Midnight Sun in 2014 and joined Dinosaur Jr. and Primus on tour in 2015. While touring, Lennon and Primus' Les Claypool hit it off and formed the psych-rock duo the Claypool Lennon Delirium. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • BORN
    Oct 9, 1975

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