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Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (8 ratings)
Routine album cover
What SNL Stands For
Best Years Of Our Lives
The Trust Fund
He Created A Monster
Last Comic Standing
My Routine
My Resume
Junior Year Abroad
The Death Of My Imagination
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 42:37

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The Tragedy of Comedy


I haven't quite figured out Don Lennon yet, but this is a very good album. He reminds me a bit of Jens Lekman, but older and wiser. He also reminds me a little bit of Robyn Hitchcock, but only because both are quirky. Lyrics matter to Don Lennon. The topics run from the mundane to the profound, but skip the inbetween. In "Northhampton" (a particularly pretty song) he relates trying to make a friend at the local brewery by asking a nearby customer for a recommendation. The response, "For something light, try their Summer Wheat, I could drink a case and still be on my feet." At least three of the tunes of this album overtly relate to stand up comics, hitting a peak on "My Routine." (A tune previously featured on Fluxblog.) Don Lennon previously was in a band called The Umpteens. That Boston band, broke up in 1997, but you can track down a few tracks under the misnamed "Endless Upteens." Recommended cuts: My Routine, Northhampton, What SNL Stands For

They Say All Music Guide

Don Lennon’s charming, geeky fourth album is an autobiographical concept piece about standup comics, television comedies, and minimum wage employment. Musically and vocally, Routine is a mix of Jonathan Richman and early folkie King Missile, with Lennon’s voice sometimes coming across as a dead ringer for Erlend Øye or the Ocean Blue’s David Schelzel. Even a casual listen of Routine suggests that the gentle-voiced indie rocker watches a huge amount of television and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. Lennon name-checks Jimmy Fallon while bemoaning and praising Saturday Night Live in “What SNL Stands For,” compares and contrasts John Ritter with Carrot Top and Bill Cosby in “Last Comic Standing,” and seemingly goes mad about Fraiser in “The Death of My Imagination.” While Lennon’s quirky lyrics and subject matter are always interesting, his music is strong enough that he needn’t go so far down the wacky Beat Happening path. A song like the delicate “My Resume,” without the Access Hollywood revelry that peppers much of the album, is endearing and touching enough to compare favorably to Magnetic Fields or East River Pipe. But given the album’s autobiographical slant, it really becomes hard to find fault. If television is so dear to Lennon, these song-stories gain some credibility as a musical slice of life. Routine is a somewhat difficult first listen, given its inherent naïvety and television geekery, but it reveals its charm quite handily with more listens. With all the soul-bearing on display, Lennon seems like a really nice, talented fellow, but his outright honesty will probably make his music a love it or hate it affair for most listeners. It’s both sad and wonderful that Routine is saddled with such artistic honesty. – Tim DiGravina

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