Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band – Between My Head And The Sky

January 01, 1970






fans can rejoice; barely 10 seconds into the opening track, “Waiting For The D
Train,” she launches into the familiar warble that drives her critics to
distraction and makes her followers swoon with ecstasy (with this reviewer
obviously in the latter camp). There are really two performing styles that suit
Yoko best; her unfettered, hypnotically rhythmic screaming or her dry, ironic,
post-modern recitations. And that’s exactly how this album opens, with the
post-punk of “D Train” (and does anyone really imagine that Yoko rides the
subway?) and the trip-hop of “The Sun Is Down!” It’s a nice introduction on an
album that has no shortage of versatility.


have been various remixes of her stuff over the last few years, but frankly
Yoko’s music has never needed such “modernizing,” as “Ask The Elephant!” (which
revisits “Ask The Dragon” from Rising)
and “Hashire, Hashire” reveal; they hit that dance-trance groovy nicely enough
on their own, thank you. “Calling” starts out dreamy and ends up being rather
frightening (another trademark of Yoko’s work). The album winds down with the
contemplative, piano-based melodies of “I’m Going Away Smiling” and “Higa
Noboru.” Then there’s a brief spoken word bit that brings everything to a
perfect close.


Sean Lennon was heavily involved with the album, as he was on his mother’s last
two studio albums (Rising and Blueprint For A Sunrise), assembling an
array of musicians include Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto), Keigo “Cornelius” Oyamada,
and what are described as “downtown Manhattan
improvisers.” In short, a group very much on Yoko’s wavelength, resulting in an
engaging and very satisfying album.


“Waiting For The D Train, “Between My Head And The Sky” GILLIAN G. GAAR


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