BEATLES PROGENY: Julian Lennon / Sean Lennon / James McCartney / Dhani Harrison (thenewno2)

Julian Lennon
Valotte (1984)

The Heir, Apparently Not.

This one was a shocker when it came out. Four years after his dad’s death, Julian surfaced with a debut album full of smart, commercial, melodic material that even outdid some of his old man’s later work. Julian’s voice was the clincher, and he obviously took notes when it came to chord structure and father John’s falsetto usage. It didn’t all sound like pops (as a re-listen will confirm), but at the time it was all downright spooky. What Julian lacked in original vision he made up for in marketability, until his subsequent albums exposed too many weaknesses. He’s publicly blamed the music industry machinery (and grinding release/tour/release schedules) for his sales woes while on Atlantic Records from ’84-’91 – and it wouldn’t be the first time that issue burned an artist not fully prepared for it. Seven years after his Atlantic contract expired, 1998’s Photograph Smile, was a respectable and viable return, and I, for one, was kind of surprised that it all ended there (until 2013’s engaging, Everything Changes). At Amazon (HERE), Valotte is a budget-priced loss leader these days.

Valotte (4:17)
O.K. For You
On The Phone (4:50)
Space (4:23)
Well I Don’t Know (4:36)
Too Late For Goodbyes (3:35)
Lonely (3:53)
Say You’re Wrong (3:29)
Jesse (3:51)
Let Me Be (2:06)

The Secret Value Of DaydreamingMr. JordanHelp YourselfPhotograph SmileEverything Changes
JULIAN LENNON The Secret Value Of Daydreaming (1986)
JULIAN LENNON Mr. Jordan (1989)
JULIAN LENNON Help Yourself (1991)
JULIAN LENNON Photograph Smile (1998)
JULIAN LENNON Everything Changes (2011)

You Are Here
George’s One And Only

It’s a bit dreamy, kind of spacey, sort of off-beat and hard to nail down, which are all good things. That the ghostly apparition of the late George Harrison’s vocal style pops up, in unfamiliar musical settings, makes You Are Here all the more interesting for it. Young Dhani Harrison has been working his way into the business in a number of noticeable ways; mixing dad’s past work, high-profile tribute gigs, press appearances and, just recently, a new band, Fistful Of Mercy. But this debut release shows a guy with ideas of his own, and enough experience and wherewithal to pull it all off. He looks and sounds like George (strengths and weaknesses) but he doesn’t mimic him – and that’s essential. Don’t listen for the “Beatles” and you just might like the kid’s distinctive start. Amazon has it HERE. BTW, “the new number 2” is a nod to the UK’s The Prisoner (HERE, in the archives).

So Vain (4:41)
Back To You (4:46)
Give You Love (4:24)
Bluesy (4:57)
Yomp (3:32)
Hiding Out (3:29)
Crazy Tuesday (3:50)
Idle Lover (4:49)
Shelter (5:52)
Wind Up Dead (5:06)
People (5:22)
Another John Doe (4:02)
Jokes On You (3:35)
You Gotta Wait (4:04)
Life Off (5:08)

EP001EP002J06389A.EPSBeautiful Creatures
THENEWNO2 EP001 (2006)
THENEWNO2 EP002 (2011)
THENEWNO2 thefearofmissingout (2012)
THENEWNO2 Beautiful Creatures (2013)

James McCartney
Available Light (2010)

From Out Of The Blue

Just look at the cover. He’s a dead ringer for that famous guy in The Beatles, who also happens to produce this 2010 EP. The music doesn’t sound anything like Sir James Paul, but it is bright, upbeat modern pop that sounds pretty decent… in a nondescript sort of way. The expertise behind the board doesn’t hurt. Credit dad for not adding his own identifiable characteristics to the mix. “Old Man” is, yes, the Neil Young tune. Available as a digital download at Amazon (HERE).

Angel (3:36)
Glisten (4:37)
My Friend (3:30)
Denial (3:14)
Old Man (3:23)

JAMES McCARTNEY Close At Hand (2011)

Sean Lennon
Into The Sun (1998)

The Quiet Debut

Lennon’s debut is a charming, eclectic and strangely vague collection of mostly acoustic songs that appear to meander aimlessly, but – after repeated listens – will begin to embed themselves in your psyche like a weird dream. It’s all quite pleasant, in an other-worldly sort of way. Just don’t listen for his dad’s influence, because there’s not much to be found. In fact, you’d probably be more convinced he was McCartney’s kid. He was, after all, only 5 when John died, so any compositional similarities would have required premeditation. Which is an about-face from his half-brother Julian’s debut (above). Listen to a slightly psych example, “Queue.” An under-the-radar debut (amazing, in this celebrity culture) that’s at Amazon (HERE) for under $1.

Mystery Juice (5:27)
Into The Sun (3:23)
Home (3:05)
Bathtub (4:01)
One Night (2:07)
Spaceship (4:18)
Photosynthesis (6:47)
Queue (3:46)
Two Fine Lovers (3:17)
Part One Of The Cowboy Trilogy (1:48)
Wasted (1:32)
Breeze (3:58)
Sean’s Theme (5:52)

SEAN LENNON Alter Egos (2012)


  • Capt. Willard
    October 31, 2010 - 20:03 | Permalink

    Search HERE.

  • Richard
    October 7, 2011 - 16:21 | Permalink

    Hi, Willard,

    All of these are worthwhile.
    Thanks for all your efforts.

  • October 8, 2011 - 08:52 | Permalink

    Got to go for Sean’s album being the best of these cuts.
    ‘Spaceship’ is a fantastic bit of modern psyche which readily became one of my fave tunes; one of my desert island discs, if that means anything to anybody…. roy

    • Willard
      October 8, 2011 - 11:19 | Permalink

      I’d probably agree…. where it comes to inventiveness and originality. thenewnumber2 is unique, as well.

  • Colin H
    October 10, 2011 - 09:05 | Permalink

    I like Sean’s second album, Friendly Fire, a lot, athough it does sound more like he’s decided to dig into a stack of his Dad’s old records before writing that one – not a bad thing, to my ears, but I do get that it’s nice to hear whar these guys have to say of their own without the attempt to scale that particular mountain of comparison as well. I am looking forward to the chance to hear the second Thenewno2 album, which I believe has just come out or is due shortly. Julian’s stuff has long been a pleasure, from the snowy day in 1984 when I first heard Valotte on the radio, home for Christmas break from 1st year at University, and waited through half an hour more of mid 80’ds crap driving around town aimlessly in bad weather to find out what the hell I’d just heard. I must admit, though, that aside from marvelling at the cover photo a bunch, the James McCartney ep left me surprisingly cold.

    I also feel obliged to mention how much I love Zak Starkey’s work with the latterday Who, whom he totally revitalized for a bit, especially in the breif period as they began to play live again before John Entwistle died. He has a great balance between the technique and manic style he learned at Moonie’s knee, and his Dad’s sense of space and tone.

    Colin H, Cambridge, ON, Canada

    • Willard
      October 10, 2011 - 12:42 | Permalink

      Should we be surprised that McCartney’s kid is the most commercially minded of the new kids on the block (not counting Julian)? Sean and Dhani seem to be following their muses, James sounds like he listens to the radio.

  • Matt
    February 2, 2012 - 00:08 | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting to hear especially Julian’s album which I haven’t heard in years.

  • KDNYfm
    April 17, 2012 - 13:54 | Permalink

    I really ned to get the turntable re-established…I havent listened to Valotte in forever. Thanx for the opportunity to hear it again. And you give me an opportunity to hear the rest of the clan!


  • Sebastian
    August 21, 2013 - 08:47 | Permalink

    Thanks! !!!

  • Kwai Chang
    January 25, 2015 - 18:37 | Permalink

    Salutations to the Harrison lad for evading the look-like-Beatle-Dad suggestions for cover art.
    How did he pull that off?

  • January 26, 2015 - 18:32 | Permalink

    THANKS A LOT WILLARD. Nice to have all of these in one place.Haven’t listened to some of it in quite a while.

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