2013 CD release of Take Me To The Land Of Hell from
Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band is nothing short of a musical masterpiece.
The album starts off menacingly enough with Moonbeams
and lyrics like People are planets, Their souls are suns...
Take Me To The Land Of Hell is filled with fantastic musicianship
featuring Sean Lennon on guitars and all manners of Lennon-esque
magic. Guitarists Nels Cline, Lenny Kravitz and Julian
Lage, along with a wide range of Japanese guitarists, add
much sonic wizardry to the mix while the CD is bursting at the seams
with a number of musicians, engineers and more. Also here is
long time Len-Ono collaborator Yuka Honda of the band Cibo
The antiwar cry kicks back into gear with track two Cheshire
Cat with lyrics like We The Expendable People Of The
United States... Its just a brilliant moment as only
Yoko could conjure this much magic.
Tabetai, track three, is just that, a fun filled nonsense
kind of song probably decrying the American diet. See you at Souen
sometime Ms. L.
Bad Dancer, cut with Adam Horovitz and Mike
D., is the hit single from Take Me To The Land Of Hell.
A disco tinged, bouncy Ono-lite fare to carry your mind away from
the horrors of war, its sexy in a way that only Yoko could arrange.
Little Boy Blue (Your Daddy's Gone), track five, sounds
like the spirit of Miles Davis channeled by Yoko. Her lyrics may be
simple but as ever, the song arrangement is sonically perfect. A magic
carpet ride into the world of Yoko. Ostensibly about Sean, the song
is sonically challenging but well worth the time.
Theres No Goodbye Between Us is a perfect Yoko production
number. Almost Lennon-esque in the scope of Grow Old With Me,
the song is a real tear-jerker and is easily the most emotionally
tinged song on the Land Of Hell CD.
Following the serious intent of Theres No Goodbye,
the next song, track seven, 7th Floor arrives like a bolt
out the blue. This is Yoko at her finest, a scathing and hysterical
look into that art of unorganized crime with lyrics that will keep
you in stitches. The song features four guitarists, including Sean
Lennon on bass and great synth work from Jared Samuel.
Track 8, Noodle Town is another wistful look into life
in New York City. Its a mix of the cultures of both the John
& Yoko world of the early 1970s and the NYC that Sean Lennon
will inherit. One can only wish Sean good luck in the coming years.
John Lennon would have loved this song. Pass the Lo Mein.... see you
at Souen... sometime in nyc. Its the only song here that makes
me feel lonely for the old New York.
The title track Take Me To The Land Of Hell harks back
to the desolation of 1981. That place where rivers of blood meet in
the universe. A haunting song praising the passing of lives and speaks
of reincarnation in the nowhereland of the universe.
Track ten, Watching The Dawn is the centerpiece and possibly
the most important song of Take Me To The Land Of Hell. This
is the orchestral rock side of Yoko that so effectively graced Double
Fantasy and Milk & Honey. Watching The Dawn
is a perfect showcase for Yokos one of a kind vocal with Sean
Lennon so gracefully accenting the haunting melody on grand piano
while backed only by a string section.
Leaving Tim is a slight reprieve after Watching
The Dawn. A fun, little throwaway track in the spirit of Im
Your Angel from Double Fantasy. Honey Pie Yoko at her
most whimsical. Who doesnt like this side of Yoko? lol, encore.
Track 12, Shine takes you back to the remix / disco dance
floor. Like 7th Floor", theres an air of surrealism
on this track. An avant gard, Dali-esque track that defies the laws
of sonic gravity.
Hawks Call closes out the album and then its
gone. If theres one album you should hear to fully appreciate
the magic Yoko Ono its got to be Take Me To The Land Of Hell.
If she never made another rock album again, this album
would be the one to place her underrated legacy up on the sonic pedestal
it rightfully deserves.
Commenting on Take
Me To The Land Of Hell,
Yoko adds, My new album comes at a very special time for me.
I feel proud to release it at such an exciting time of my life.