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Kids who rock

The children of rock stars
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 17, 2006

The kids are at it again. We’ve got a new one to add to the list of the children of rock stars who want to be rock stars: Alexa Ray Joel, the 20-year-old daughter of Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel. And after an eight-year absence, Sean Lennon is back with Friendly Fire (Capitol). You can get a taste of that one on his MySpace site and even link to his pal Bijou Phillips’s site to see what the daughter of a Mama and a Papa is up to. I passed on that.

Alexa Ray Joel, “The Heart of Me”
You can stream this blockbuster studio production at Alexa’s MySpace site, download it at iTunes, or wait till it comes to Target on her Sketches EP later this month. But at bandbuilder you get the added benefit of an Alexa slide show that features the young beauty in a variety of alluring poses. Trust me, the visuals add something to the over-the-top vocal gymnastics that are her calling card.

Alexa Ray Joel, “For All My Days”
It’s September 4, 2006, and Alexa and her bassist/musical director are hanging out and, voilà!, they’ve got a tune. So Alexa presses RECORD, introduces bassist Jimmy Riot, and tears into a soulful love song that sounds as if it could easily be a standard. This is a great chance to hear her flex her Mariah-like vocal cords against just a simple bass line.

Sean Lennon, “Dead Meat”
Despite the mean-spirited lyrics (“You’re gonna get what you deserve” is one of the barbed refrains), this single is mellow and tuneful, with a nice skewed section of strings and layered vocal harmonies. Sean still sounds just enough like his dad to remind you who he is, but not so much that it’s creepy.

Sean Lennon, “Idea”
True to its title, this non-album instrumental track, available only as a download at Sean’s MySpace page, isn’t so much a song as something akin to a piano étude set to a backwards-looping drum ’n’ bass beat. Think of it as a work in progress that suddenly turned out to be finished because, even without any vocals, it’s an engaging three and a half minutes.

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Kids who rock
Having seen and talked to Alexa Ray Joel four times in the past year, and being a songwriter myself, I can tell you that not only is this kid the real deal, I am extremely impressed. Alexa writes with a depth uncommon for her age. She uses imagery like a master and music like it was old hat. This is an old soul who has a soul and an original sound, which in this day and age is so rare. Mark my words, Alexa Ray Joel is the future of music and will prove to be one of our most prolific writers over the next few decades. Joe Goyette
By Joe Goyette on 11/16/2006 at 11:09:51

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