Music Review: Yoko Ono

By Spenser Webb, Entertainment Writer 

Yoko Ono (yes, that Yoko Ono) recently released a new compilation album entitled “Yes, I’m a Witch Too”. The album title is a double play on words, referring to her public image where many scorned Beatles fans refer to Yoko in less than kind terms, at times even as a witch, as well as a play on the word too (two) referring to her 2007 release “Yes, I’m a Witch”. The seventeen track album features Yoko singing on every track with guest artists composing the music. These artists include Death Cab for Cutie, Portugal. The Man, Miike Snow, Yoko’s son Sean Lennon, and thirteen other artists of varying degrees of fame.

Photo Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/arts/design/yoko-onos-1971-moma-show-finally-opens.html

Photo Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/arts/design/yoko-onos-1971-moma-show-finally-opens.html

Songs on “Yes, I’m a Witch Too” are usually well composed and tend to the more electronic side, however some tracks such as “Give Me Something (featuring Sparks)” feature pianos and orchestral backing and others are backed by traditional rock instruments. This makes for a lack of harmony between songs and may be a bit off-putting when listening to the album as a whole; however it is to be expected given the somewhat unusual structure of the album. The one constant on the album is Yoko herself.  She provides the vocals on every track but this certainly isn’t a saving grace. Yoko’s voice is less than appealing and you have to get past that the lyrics are often repetitive and at times somewhat incoherent, both in sound and message. Yoko’s style has been described by some as avant-garde, however it seems a bit poorly done on Yoko’s end.  Each composer brings their own flavor to their respective track but Yoko seems to hold the album back, especially on the final third of the album.

Musically, however, the album is actually quite good with each backing artist clearly bringing their A game. Almost every song is well put together and, with the exception of the vocals, pleasant to listen to. I usually try to find some highlights though, so I’ll say one of Yoko’s better performances is on “Dogtown (ft. Sean Lennon)”, which has some rather ridiculous lyrics though Yoko’s delivery here is probably her best on the album.

Overall, “Yes, I’m a Witch Too” is a bit of a disappointment. The wide variety of artists and musical styles are actually very good, however Yoko’s vocal performance leaves much to be desired. I’d recommend giving “Yes, I’m a Witch Too” a pass.