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Beauty (Within the Beast)

Lennon - 5:30 Saturday Morning
4 Stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: December 14, 2001


By Tony Bonyata

She's young, hot, poised for stardom and NOT blonde. This brazen, brunette 19-year old singer / songwriter simply known as Lennon (named after Beatle John) is about to turn the metal world on its ear with her powerhouse pipes, dark confessional lyrics and lethally charged heavy metal, not to mention the fact that, well, she's a girl.
On this Tennessee native's debut effort 5:30 Saturday Morning Lennon displays an outpouring of emotion on songs built on rich melodies and bone-crunching rhythms, as on the numbers "My Beautiful," "Brake of Your Car" and the beauty-within-the-beast track "Thank You."
Wasting no time in exorcizing her own personal psychological demons Lennon opens the album with the jarring testament "Mommy's in the closet finding God," against a backdrop of Nine Inch Nails industrial dread, referring to the traumatic event right before her high school graduation when she discovered her mother dead in the closet from an allergic reaction to her medication. "I'm sick and tired of everyone trying to make me somebody else," she snarls amidst a churning corkscrew guitar, as if telling the record labels that were courting her at the same time of her mother's death to take her as she is, and not try to package her into Britney Fears.
With just a reflective piano to accompany her longing, soul-baring vocals on the closing title track, the comparisons to Tori or Fiona may seem evident, but when she turns things up - which just so happens to be for the rest of the album, Lennon proves, with lung collapsing slabs of guitar and icy industrial clangor, that she actually has more in common with Black Sabbath and Nine Inch Nails than these other edgy female artists.
She may be a pretty young thing, but don't underestimate the power that lies within Lennon. She's liable to knock you flat on your ass. And you're gonna like it.

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