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Yoko Ono - Between My Head and the Sky

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 23 / 9 / 2009

Yoko Ono - Between My Head and the Sky
Label: Chimera Music
Format: CD


Experimental and challenging, but ultimately totally irresistible new album from Yoko Ono, her first under the Platic Ono Band moniker since the mid 1970s

‘Between My Head and the Sky’ is the first album to be released by Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band since the mid 1970s. Apart from Yoko none of the other members of the original line-up of the Plastic Ono Band appear, which included John Lennon, who is of course no longer with us, Ringo Starr and Klaus Voorman, who drew the cover for ‘Revolver’. Another Lennon, however does play on the album – Sean, John and Yoko’s son who is now 34 years old. This fifteen track album covers all Yoko's styles of music and starts with ‘Waiting for the D Train’, which returns her to her early Apple records roots of wailing. This is what hacked Beatles’ fans off in the first place, but was a massive influence on new wave and bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees. It is totally avant garde in sound. ‘The Sun is Down’ is a funky number, which is backed by a New York style disco beat and features a spoken word vocal. ‘Ask the Elephant’ has a mid 1970’s swagger to it and another spoken word vocal. ‘Memories of Footsteps’ does what a song should do and takes you on a journey. It has a smooth feel and a soft trumpet and is like a film in song form. It is Yoko's love song for New York, in the same way that Woody Allen's ‘Manhattan’ is his love song for New York. ‘Moving Mountains’ has Yoko having sex and an orgasm. She has done this before on record and this time has some soft sexy music to help her on her way. ‘Calling’ finds Yoko in a hypnotised state and is musically reminiscent of both the Inspiral Carpets ‘Joe’ and the Beatles' ‘Taxman’, but has more grooves than either of them. ‘Healing’ is smooth and very calm, while ‘Hashire, Hashire’ is sung in Japanese and is backed by music that sounds like it belongs on a trendy cookery show or the soundtrack to a ‘Sex in the City’ film. The title track is funky and imaginative, and another avant garde, forward thinking, funky number. ‘Feel the Sand’ is very gentle, a number to rock a baby asleep to. ‘Watching the Rain’ is more in the vein of her early 80s work, but has a dose of the 21st century added. The beautiful ‘Unun’ is sung in both Japanese and English. ‘I'm Going Away Smiling’ is a sad love song with just a cello and piano backing it. ‘High Noboru’ is also beautiful and sung again in both languages. ‘I'm Alive’, the final track, is short and sweet, just twenty two seconds. Yoko sings, ”It's me and I'm alive” while in the background there is the sound of gunfire, a reference to John Lennon being shot which she has againused before. ‘Between My Head and the Sky’ is like all Yoko Ono’s work experimental and challenging, but also, if listened to in the right mind, ultimately totally irresistible.

Track Listing:-
1 Waiting For The D Train
2 The Sun Is Down!
3 Ask The Elephant!
4 Memory Of Footsteps
5 Moving Muntains
6 Calling
7 Healing
8 Hashire, Hashire!
9 Between My Head And The Sky
10 Feel The Sand
11 Watching The Rain
12 Unun. To
13 I'M Going Away Smiling

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