06 February 2007

NMT: 06 FEB 07 Yoko Ono --- I'm A Witch

Yoko Ono --- I'm A Witch

You read correctly, I'm reviewing the brand spanking new Yoko Ono release. The things I do for my public.

Seems like an appropriate change of pace after PYT week.

Overall impressions, it's not nearly as bad as you might fear, and in some ways is a pretty interesting project. On to the tracks.

1) Witch Shockotronica (Intro)
This album is all about the collaborations, on this song you have half of The Bomb Squad, Hank Shocklee providing some satisifyingly old school beats behind Yoko declaring that she's both a witch and a bitch. Nice stuff.

2) Kiss Kiss Kiss
Peaches is the person behind trying to sex up this septagenarian. Goes about as well as you'd expect an attempt at sexing up a septagenarian.

3) O'oh
This one kind of rocks. Shitake Monkey are the folks providing beats (wish they'd learn how to spell shiitake), it's a laid back and humorous vibe behind an unusually musical Yoko vocal.

4) Everyman...Everywoman
Blow-Up are the co-artists on this piece, and it's a peppy little rocker. Not much else to say. The lyrics are probably meant to be profound, but whatever.

5) Sisters O Sisters
Le Tigre offer up a deep dub groove behind a really off key vocal performance from the Ono one. Nobody does oddly off key like Yoko Ono. Take that as a warning, or recommendation, the choice is yours. I could live without the hackneyed sloganeering towards the end of the song, but you can take the 'radical' out of the 60s but you can't take the 60s out of the 'radical', I guess.

6) Death of Samantha
Porcupine Tree helping out here, and they provide some excellent acoustic guitar and a lushly sad setting to a surprisingly effective and emotionally touching song. Easily the best song on the album, a real surprise.

7) Rising
DJ Spooky helps out and puts together a really solid groove matched to some more fortune cookie philosophizing. Works pretty well, anyway, mainly cause it's more instrumental than anything.

8) Nobody Sees Me Like You Do
The Apples In Stereo here with Yoko trying to sing a song in a mostly normal way (weird, I know). It's a bit of an old school Lou Reed doing Doo-Wop vibe going on here, at least as much as you could ever expect Yoko Ono to pull off. Interesting instrumentation here, and in this setting her vocals work well.

9) Yes, I'm A Witch
And she expects an argument against that statement? (Noisy fun, in a mid-80s arty-rap sort of way). (The Brother Brothers are the co-conspirators on this track)

10) Revelations
Cat Power matches Yoko with a sincere piano song and some interesting lyrics.

11) You And I
The Polyphonic Spree offering a somewhat subdued (for them) setting for a low key effort from Yoko. They wait to the very end to venture into Sgt. Pepper land.

12) Walking On Thin Ice
Jason Pierce goes with a bit of artnoise guitar god posturing mixed with a plodding beat and pushes the vocals way back in the mix. Works pretty well (less is more with Yoko's vocals it would seem).

13) Toyboat
Anthony and Hahn Rowe are the folks offering up Yoko in a electronic/ambient space singing about a toyboat. What else is there to say?

14) Cambridge 1969/2007
The Flaming Lips offer up some driving beats, droning (but pushed way back again) vocals from Yoko, and mostly turn her voice into an element on the keyboard rather than using her voice as voice. It's a fun ride.

15) I'm Moving On
The Sleepy Jackson (not to be confused with Luscious Jackson), go with anthemic/electronic, meh.

16) Witch Shocktronica (Outro)
Hank Shocklee again, and you can't have an Intro without an Outro, so here's the Outro. It's just a fraction of a piece really

17) Shiranakatta
Craig Armstrong gets to help Yoko close out this album, she starts out in Japanese, switches to French, then goes back to English. She sounds pretty good in Japanese and especially French. It's a good closing song, sounds big, with plenty of strings. Her voice can be surprisingly pleasing when she chooses.

So that's my impression of this album. Can't say that I'd buy it, but I will listen to it more than once. It's really a pretty interesting trip, and having a variety of acts provide a bunch of settings for Yoko seems like it was a wise move.

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