When it comes to Yoko Ono, the storied, reviled and always creative artist never stops moving. With her new collaboration with 18 artists, revisiting some of her past work, she’s finding new ways to tell her story. Check out this witchy woman tale from Consequence of Sound.
No matter the words or actions Ono chooses to tack to her signposts, they’re always intentionally unfinished. Ono’s art drives to a crossroads so that it can be reinterpreted, remolded, and reformed by each one of us, in every which way imaginable. Yes, I’m a Witch, 2007’s 17-collaborator-strong remix album, made a remarkable case for this route. Ono invited the musicians into her art, asking them to contemplate her compositions and reimagine them. From drenched piano balladry to glossy funk and pop, it’s a way to sit down with her entire discography like an open book. Depending on which page you open to, that book might seem like the manuscript of a private confessional or a ruthless satire.
Now Ono is collaborating with 18 new artists for a sequel titled Yes, I’m a Witch Too. Why? That’s not the kind of question she would ask. Really: Why not? Each song relies on slices of memory and a distinctive voice — a voice that’s heavy on nostalgia, full of ideas and life lessons. This time around, Ono’s collaborators include Cibo Matto, Peter Bjorn and John, and Moby. Together, these musicians reaffirm art’s capacity to tell timeless human stories, and Ono provides the skill in artfully arranging their multitude of unique voices.
“I may cry someday/ But the tears will dry whichever way,” Ono sings on the album opener, “Walking on Thin Ice”. “And when our hearts return to ashes/ It’ll be just a story, it’ll be just a story.” In this claustrophobic world, Ono speaks loudly but with relatively few words. No matter how many voices crowd into the frame, Yoko Ono will tell her own story and deliver her own legacy of love and beauty.
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