Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger - Midnight Sun album review

Package Delivered

I haven’t really followed Sean Lennon’s musical career so come to this second album by him and partner Charlotte Kemp Muhl as The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger with few expectations other than being intrigued by the long band name – here at Some Diurnal Aural Awe there is an empathy for such linguistic deliberation.

Not surprisingly, there are a number of clear Beatles affectations in this unashamedly 60s/70s psychedelic pop construction, not least Sean’s vocal echo of his father John, but as other reviewers have rightly noted [so there is no point pretending this is my original aural take] there is also a modern reflection of current psychedelic sounds via the likes of Tame Impala, this in the heavier manifestations of its broad timewise but genre-defined focus, and as on opening two tracks Too Deep and Xanadu. There are exceptions, like the pop of Charlotte on fourth Johannesburg which is playful if rather throwaway, and this poppier jollity is continued in sixth Last Call and I think the two are certainly having a good time at all times, but some is lighter than elsewhere. 

Sean and Charlotte also enjoy their photo sessions and I do believe this entire package as The Goastt is all a part of the celebration. The two can, however, seriously sing and there are beautiful harmonies in the cleverly orchestrated eighth track Golden Earring [and Don’t Look Back Orpheus] so this package from the past and delivered through the now does have substance. Others have noted the echoes of Pink Floyd in some of these orchestrations, so a nod again to that observation from them, but I also hear a little of King Crimson in the mellotron used here and there, not that this is a remarkable discovery. 

The album ends on Moth to a Flame which is a complex amalgam of all I have mentioned already, and this richly layered song [with a clear Pink Floyd debt] exemplifies the musical creativity that greatly usurps the simple intrigue of a band name.

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