Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band - Take Me To The Land Of Hell

A 2013 release, but again I just acquired it.  I was looking for a release she did for charity with Antony, review to come later, and discovered her and Sean Lennon's Chimera label/website.  Lots of excellent experimental, psychedelic, & avant-garde wonderment.  I had a hard time budgeting my selections and in the end it came down to format choices (I stuck to vinyl).  I find Yoko Ono to be rather inconsistent, but essential to investigate.  She is the only musician that travels to some of those places and not everyone wants to follow her there.  I find myself regretting the times I just can't go where she goes, like watching others skydive when I am just too cautious.  This record is perfection in blending her individuality and experiential creativity within a structure that is easy to assimilate.

Released on her 80th year on earth, this album serves as a true tribute and celebration of her accomplishments.  There is nothing standing between her and her listeners, she is raw and vulnerable throughout.  Listen to Little Boy Blue your daddy's gone... on the surface it is just a nice song, pleasant and lilting, but the lyrics when you consciously acknowledge them will make you weep.  

While her detractors seem to overlook and disparage her contributions to rock music, they fail to grasp how elemental her influence has been on so many artists from The Flaming Lips to Sonic Youth, and beyond.  She has blazed the path of uniqueness.  She empowers artists to break from the confines of genres, popular trends, and their own perceived limitations to explore areas and sounds unplumped.  She's a "Bad Dancer", "Place you bets, Watch your step, I'm a Bad Dancer, With no regrets".

  1. Moonbeams
  2. Cheshire Cat Cry
  3. Tabetai
  4. Bad Dancer
  5. Little Boy Blue Your Daddy's Gone
  6. There's No Goodbye Between Us
  7. 7th Floor
  8. N.Y. Noodle Town
  9. Take Me To The Land Of Hell
  10. Watching The Dawn
  11. Leaving Tim
  12. Shine, Shine
  13. Hawk's Call

"Cheshire Cat Cry" may sound playful as a kitten and make you tap your toes...it also contains some rather pointed political lyrics.  "We the expendable people of the United States, Hold these dreams to be self-destructive"

I will have "There's No Goodbye Between Us" played at my funeral - it is just a stunningly magical, concise and beautiful symtoment.  "Made up my mind to say goodbye, And went to the park for the last time, But when I saw your eyes, I knew for the first time, That there's no goodbye between us"

I searched out a few other reviews for this record to see how I managed to miss it.  There didn't seem to be many and those that existed seemed to miss the point of the record.  I read Pitchfork and Rolling Stone reviews that were basically positive but in a off-hand and dismissive manner.  Pitchfork at least made some good connections, but missed some others.  Both made "Bad Dancer" out to be a song about Yoko Ono's dancing ability - a rather shallow interpretation.  It is a song of freedom and empowerment, it says don't worry about how good you are, or how good other's think you are...Dance!  It goes beyond her ability to "dance" but encompasses her outlook on living life and being a creative person.  

This album deserves much more attention and many more accolades.  It has heart, soul, conviction, and merriment mingled together to be enjoyed, pondered, and repeated.

The package is a gatefold sleeve, abstract black and white art inside, plain white inner sleelve, fold out lyric sheet with credits, black vinyl.  Effective but unimpressive.  I would have loved if more of the energy and creativity in the music was echoed in the artwork of the packaging.  


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