Lenny Zenith
What If The Sun
XYYX Records
★★★★

What If The Sun may be Lenny Zenith’s first solo album, however, Zenith has a rich career making history as a punk artist. In the ‘80s, RZA was the first brush with fame, opening up for U2, XTC, Gun Club, The Replacements and many more. Although Zenith bounced from New Orleans to California and back in the early years, New Orleans gets to put a marker as a glorious influence of culture and defiance for the artist.

Remember New York’s Jenifer Convertible in the ‘90s? That was Zenith. The Tenterhooks, Minor Planet, Pop Combo . . . all Zenith. Now a New York native, 30 years as a trans musician has scored him historical recognition. Not as sassy as work in Tenterhooks and not as angularly dimensional and punctuated as RZA, What If The Sun is a modest foray into guitar-drenched songs that encapsulated the mood and motives that followed Zenith throughout life.

Zenith bounces between storyteller and philosopher, often blurring the lines between both. “Sunday Dress” embroiders Zenith as a remarkable songwriter, flawlessly roping you into the storyline. The title track extracts natural law into the picture, pouncing on aesthetics and conforming them into a personal meaning.

Lenny Zenith – Stress Test

“Suddenly Someone” is Zenith at his finest, crafting the all-American pop punk song that starts with a hook and adds explosive emotion, some harmonies and an incredible beat. There is a subtle layer of snark built into the lyrics. It adds a personal touch. And if that does not do it, the punchy guitars on “Out of Touch” tackle uncertainty that personalized punk odes expound on so well.

Zenith has seen and experienced a lot in the last 30 years. What If The Sun is the recognition and longing of an artist who has adapted with the times yet unfaltered to the core ideology of the purpose of being a musician all along. The zest of youth of RZA’s “Urban Riot” may be gone and the sassy deconstructivism may not be as prevalent as Jenifer Convertible’s “Tastee Cake,” but the fire in the voice is unparalleled and the album is a nice inclusion into Lenny’s discography.

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