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Downtown

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Album Review

Hailing from Boston, home of the Magnetic Fields, Don Lennon crafts one of the funniest serious albums with Downtown. In a voice that echoes the Magnetic Fields' brilliant Stephin Merritt, and with eclectic pop music in the vein of Robyn Hitchcock and John Cale's jauntier solo work, Lennon sets his sights on pop culture icons, and he's unmerciful. Count them — two songs making fun of Dave Matthews should have listeners laughing out loud. Lennon sings as Dave Matthews on the upbeat David Byrne-esque "Matthews Comes Alive." Then, on "Really Dave Matthews," Lennon remembers himself in his college dorm on a coed's bed (with, what else — a Dave Matthews poster over it), and when "she accidentally touched my hand, I was so happy that I lied and said I liked the Dave Matthews Band." Lennon proceeds to tackle Lenny Kravitz, the gay nightlife scene, foreign exchange students, and John Cale, and then finally pays homage to the Mekons with the psychedelic country tune "Mekons Come to Town." The greatest thing about the humor on Downtown is that Don Lennon is so sincere about being hilarious. With such a sublime balance between the melancholy and the ridiculous, these songs should be in a Wes Anderson film.

Customer Reviews

Terrible? ... That is harsh

The previous reviewer must be a DMB fan (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is a fun listen. This certainly does not compare to anything Stephin Merritt has done, but I can see why the comparison exists. Fans of Magnetic Fields will be able to digest this pretty easily.

Dear Bono

I'm writing this to say that I will never make fun of you or your music because you are very charitable and therefore you are beyond reproach. Keep making excellent songs with The Edge and Sully and Taz. You are the best!

Simply an amazing album

I've listened to this album thousands of times and every time I find something new to like about it. Don explores his musical heros and villians in this masterpiece, and regardless of whether you are a fan of Dave Matthews, you'd have to admit his two (!) anti-DMB songs are very catchy and creative. If you aren't into independant musicians or their music, and tend to spend your money at Best Buy on more commercial artists, I could understand why you wouldn't appreciate this music.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

In the early/mid-1990s, Don Lennon served as lead singer of Boston's The Umpteens, who released three cassettes and one single during their brief tenure. Lennon went solo in 1997, with the release of Maniac on Martin Phillips Records. The disc was recorded at Studio 7 with producer Sean Drinkwater. Immediately, his deadpan, straightforward delivery raised eyebrows in indie pop and indie rock circles. His quirky songwriting quickly drew comparisons to Jonathan Richman and the Talking Heads. From the...
Full Bio
Downtown, Don Lennon
View In iTunes
  • $9.90
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Pop
  • Released: Apr 15, 2002

Customer Ratings

Contemporaries