The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
Acoustic Sessions - Chimera Music
FILTER Grade: 76%
By Adam Conner-Simons on November 12, 2010
It’s a blessing and a curse to pursue music as the son of a Beatle: for every curious Fab Four fan, there are five cynics crying “nepotism.” As on his solo albums, Sean Lennon’s latest project—The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, a collaboration with girlfriend/model Charlotte Kemp Muhl—finds the singer haunted by the rock-star dad with whom he shares both vocal timbre and a fondness for minor-key melodies. Muhl’s airy pipes pair well with Lennon’s reed-like stylings on the hazy folk of “Candy Necklace” and the sighing a cappella arrangement of “The World Was Made for Men.” Too often, though, the metronomic guitar-plucking and rainy-day harmonies give the tunes an interchangeable, mid-tempo somberness, which inevitably turns boring. The duo’s fanciful sentiments about “lavender roads” and “chameleon clouds” seem misplaced on top of such humdrum instrumentation. What use are whimsical words without joyful, upbeat accompaniment? Too little too late.