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Despite the advancing age of John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono manages to be as eccentric as ever.
At 76-years-old, Ono teamed up with her son, 34-year-old Sean Lennon, to produce the weirdly diverse album that is “Between My Head and The Sky.”
In the album, Ono sings, Lennon plays the acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboard, bass, drums and percussion, while Keigo “Cornelius” Oyamada also strums the guitars, slaps the bass and uses the a Japanese electric instrument called the Tenorion.
There has not been a Plastic Ono Band album since 1975, when John Lennon produced the album “Shaved Fish,” which contained hits such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Instant Karma! (We all Shine On).” Likewise, Ono hasn’t produced a Plastic Ono Band title since the 1973 album “Feeling the Space.”
Since the band has reunited, or some form of it has anyway, it’s hard not to think that Sean Lennon is taking the place of his father. He physically resembles John and is a musician, but his sound is barely comparable.
Instead, Ono takes lead vocals on songs like “BETWEEN MY HEAD AND THE SKY,” where she weirdly chants. Despite Ono’s dying animal vocals, the instrumental quality is fantastic. Lennon does his father justice on the electric guitar, which makes the song worth a listen despite Ono’s screeching vocals.
Ono varies her sound in “Moving Mountains,” which has a heavy tribal percussion alongside Lennon’s electric guitar and piano. She moans throughout the song, making it seem it seem like an unusual religious ceremony.
Again, Ono diversifies her sound on the album’s best vocal track, “I’m Going Away Smiling.” The song sounds more like a classical piece with a soft tempo. Ono refrains from screeching and poetically sings, “Thank you for the memories/ thank you for the laughs/ going away this time/ remember no tears.”
She remains true to her Japanese roots in the song “Higa Noboru,” which combines Japanese and English lyrics. The song begins with a graceful piano opening by Lennon with Ono singing softly. With poetic passion, Ono sings, “I write/ I light/ my message on an invisible wall / of a prison cell, hell” and “Why is this life/ so beautiful, so interesting, why/ this planet, oh.” It’s difficult to get into the mind of the elderly artist or how she comes up with these peculiar lines.
Anyone hoping for a revival of the John Lennon Plastic Ono Band is out of luck. But for those interested in experimental lyrics and sound, check out “Between My Head and the Sky.”
Contact CU Independent writer Sara Juliet Fruman at Sara.email@example.com.