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Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band — Take Me to the Land of Hell (2013)

 Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band — Take Me to the Land of Hell

 Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band — Take Me to the Land of Hell

Δ•  オノ・ヨーコ : John Lennon's ever–controversial widow, an intriguing experimental/avant–garde artist with flashes of brilliance.
Δ•  “My new album comes at a very special time for me. The energy I have right now, and the desire to continue to make as much great work as I can, is really moving me forwards all the time. This album is the culmination of a lot of ideas I’ve been having over the last few years and I feel proud to release it at such an exciting time of my life.” — Yoko Ono
Born: February 18, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan
Location: New York City, NY, U.S.
Genres: Avant-garde, experimental, rock, pop, new wave
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock
Album release: September 17, 2013
Record Label: Chimera Music
Duration:     42:41
01 Moonbeams     5:49 
02 Cheshire Cat Cry     4:58 
03 Tabetai     2:45 
04 Bad Dancer     3:10 
05 Little Boy Blue Your Daddy's Gone     3:46 
06 There's No Goodbye Between Us     2:41 
07 7th Floor     3:05 
08 N.Y. Noodle Town     3:14 
09 Take Me to the Land of Hell     3:23 
10 Watching the Dawn     2:47 
11 Leaving Tim     2:48 
12 Shine, Shine     4:01 
13 Hawk's Call     0:14
Japan bonus track: 
14 "Story of an Oak Tree" 
Album Moods: Cerebral Provocative Complex Confrontational Self-Conscious Uncompromising Cathartic Clinical Difficult Harsh Intense Volatile Tense/Anxious
Themes: Politics/Society The Creative Side Death Lifecycle Loneliness
•  Christopher Allen  Engineer
•  Yuko Araki  Drums, Percussion
•  Thomas Bartlett  Piano
•  Mark Bengston  Assistant, Pro-Tools
•  Michael H. Brauer  Mixing
•  Nate Brenner  Bass, Bottle, Percussion, Vocals
•  Nels Cline  Guitar (Electric), Lap Steel Guitar, Loops, Percussion
•  Cornelius  Remixing
•  Mike D  Beats, Programming, Remixing
•  Bill Dobrow  Drums, Percussion
•  Erik Friedlander  Cello, String Arrangements
•  Merrill Garbus  Bottle, Drums, Fender Rhodes, Percussion, Vocals
•  Joyce Hammann  Violin
•  Kevin Harper  Assistant Engineer, Bottle
•  Yuka Honda  Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Producer, Sampling, Synthesizer
•  Adam Horovitz  Beats, Programming, Remixing
•  Shahzad Ismaily  Bass, Guitar (Acoustic), Percussion
•  Greg Kadel  Cover Photo
•  Andre Kellman  Mixing Engineer
•  Lenny Kravitz  Clavinet, Drums
•  Julian Lage  Guitar (Acoustic)
•  Sean Lennon  Bass, Conductor, Drum Machine, Drum Programming, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Kalimba, Percussion, Photography, Piano, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizer, Vocals
•  Michael Leonhart  Mellophone, Percussion
•  Bob Ludwig  Mastering
•  Lois Martin  Viola
•  Yoko Ono  Composer, Drawing, Producer, Vocals
•  Keigo Oyamada  Bass, Guitar (Electric), Synthesizer
•  Christopher Sean Powell  Percussion
•  Questlove  Drums
•  Jared Samuel  Hammond B3, Percussion, Synthesizer
•  Hirotaka "Shimmy" Shimizu  Guitar (Electric)
•  Toru Takayama  Engineer
•  Geoff Thorpe  Art Direction
•  Doug Wieselman  Clarinet (Bass)
•  Andrew Wyatt  Fender Rhodes
Review by Heather PharesScore: ****
Δ•  The Plastic Ono Band's 2009 return Between My Head and the Sky was cause for celebration for Yoko Ono fans, so it's heartening that Take Me to the Land of Hell — which was released the same year as Ono's 80th birthday — picks up pretty much where that album left off. Once again working with her son Sean Lennon and a crack team of collaborators including Yuka Honda, Nels Cline, and Cornelius' Keigo Oyamada, Ono sings about the things that matter — peace, war, New York, dancing — over sounds that are nearly as diverse as Between My Head and the Sky. Ono immediately throws listeners into the deep end with a pair of songs so potent, they could have come from the band's heyday: "Moonbeams" is mystical and fierce, with sheets of raw guitars supporting her as she intones "My spirit appears like the sun at dawn" and vocalizes with her one–of–a–kind intensity. Meanwhile, the funky takedown of the American dream "Cheshire Cat Cry" sounds even more like the Plastic Ono Band's early–'70s work, but its rallying cry "Stop the violence/Stop all wars" — as well as the way Ono implores "who needs it?!" at the end of the song — is urgent and timeless. Take Me to the Land of Hell spends equal time with the playful electronic direction Ono pursued in the 2000s, and "Bad Dancer" and "Tabetai," a collaboration with tUnE–yArDs' Merrill Nisker, are standouts. However, Take Me to the Land of Hell often feels sadder and more reflective than Between My Head and the Sky. Some of its finest moments are as harrowing as they are beautiful: a ghostly loneliness pervades the title track, and on "Little Boy Blue Your Daddy's Gone," Ono's despairing attempts at comfort become increasingly wrenching until her wails ring out after the music ends. Even some of the more lighthearted songs here have a remarkable poignancy, whether it's the bittersweet love song to Ono's adopted city "N.Y. Noodle Town" or the charming breakup song "Leaving Tim," where she sings, "Let's throw that past in the biggest trash can/Our life spent, a lifetime." By the time "Shine, Shine"'s white–hot dance–rock brings the album to a triumphant close, Take Me to the Land of Hell delivers performances with the kind of weight — and lightness — that can only come from an artist entering her ninth decade.
Δ•  Son of John Lennon, his varied musical career has included several collaborations and some eclectic solo work.
Born: October 9, 1975 in New York, NY
Member of: Cibo Matto, Ima, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Δ•  As the son of John Lennon, perhaps the most beloved Beatle, and avant–garde musician Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon was a celebrity before he had even begun his recording career. That may be the reason why he didn't choose straight–ahead pop as his musical vocation, like his half–brother Julian did. Instead, he cleverly positioned himself between pop and experimental, taking his cue from such kaleidoscopic '90s multiculturists as the Beastie Boys, Beck, and Cibo Matto. To many ears, his 1998 debut album, Into the Sun, had unexpectedly eclectic roots and a laid–back vibe, earning him positive critical reviews and securing a modest place in the post–alternative hierarchy.
Δ•  Ten years before Into the Sun, such a transformation seemed unlikely. But toward the end of the '80s, Lennon began to emerge from the seclusion that marked the years following his father's assassination. During his childhood, he was educated in Swiss boarding schools, but occasionally appeared on his mother's albums and sang on the 1984 Ono tribute Every Man Has a Woman. In his early teens, he was occasionally seen decked out in a plastic Thriller jacket and hanging out with Michael Jackson, but his first official step into the spotlight was in the form of filmed interviews for the 1988 documentary John Lennon: Imagine.
Δ•  Three years later, he organized — with Ono and Lenny Kravitz — a star–studded re-recording of his father's "Give Peace a Chance" as a protest to the Gulf War. That year, he also appeared on Kravitz's album Mama Said. Shortly afterward, he retreated from the spotlight again, deciding to attend Columbia University. He spent only a few semesters at college before he dropped out of school to hang out in the New York indie rock scene. He encouraged his mother to begin performing again, supporting her in a noise rock trio named IMA; the trio was featured on Ono's 1995 album Rising and backed her on her subsequent tour. During that time, Lennon met Cibo Matto, who were hired to remix a song on Ono and IMA's EP, and he became Cibo Matto's touring bassist as well as the boyfriend of their keyboardist, Yuka Honda. For a short while in the mid-'90s, he was touring with both IMA and Cibo Matto; it was the first time he was on the road playing music for an extended period of time.
Δ•  Once the touring was completed, Lennon played some of his songs to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. Impressed with the demos, Yauch asked Lennon if he wanted to record a solo album for the Beasties' label, Grand Royal. He accepted the offer and had Honda produce the resulting album, Into the Sun. A mellow, eclectic album that bounces between bossa nova and alternative rock, Into the Sun was released in the spring of 1998. Journalists and observers were ready to spot musical similarities between Sean and his father, but perhaps the clearest shared trait was an ability to unwittingly stick his foot in his mouth just like his dad. Shortly before Into the Sun, he gave an interview with The New Yorker claiming his father was assassinated by the American government. It helped stir up interest for his debut album, but he didn't need it, since the rock press was already eager to run stories about him — not only was he the heir to rock royalty, he had the Grand Royal stamp of approval. Consequently, Into the Sun received strong reviews and, on the basis of those reviews, earned a small following, debuting at number 153 on the charts.
Δ•  When Grand Royal folded in 2001, Lennon found himself without a label, but Capitol soon signed him. However, it wasn't until 2006 that he released new material; his second album, the mostly piano-driven Friendly Fire, appeared that fall and featured contributions from Honda, Ono, Money Mark, and Vincent Gallo. In 2009, Lennon composed the score for the independent film Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead.
Between My Head and the Sky: Score: **** http://www.allmusic.com/album/between-my-head-and-the-sky-mw0000827484
Δ•  Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band (1970) No. 182
Δ•  Fly (1971) No. 199
Δ•  Approximately Infinite Universe (1972) No. 193
Δ•  Feeling the Space (1973)
Δ•  A Story (1974, unreleased until 1997)
Δ•  Season of Glass (1981) No. 49
Δ•  It's Alright (I See Rainbows) (1982) No. 98
Δ•  Starpeace (1985)
Δ•  Rising (1995)
Δ•  Blueprint for a Sunrise (2001)
Δ•  Yes, I'm a Witch (2007)
Δ•  Open Your Box (2007)
Δ•  Between My Head and the Sky (2009)
Δ•  Yokokimthurston (2012)
Δ•  Take Me to the Land of Hell (2013)
★★★★  ”Blurring genres with the same ease it blurs expectations” — Q
★★★★  ”One of Yoko Ono’s strongest” — Uncut
★★★★  ”Alive with 21st Century energy” — Mojo
★★★★  ”Unexpectedly enticing” — The Guardian
★★★★  ”An instrument of power and wonder” — The Sunday Times
★★★★  ”Anxious dreamscapes, poetic observations and dark images” — The Independent
★★★★  ”Nothing matches the force that is Yoko” — Metro
★★★★  ”Considered and quite beautiful” — Pitchfork
Website: http://yopob.com/

Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band — Take Me to the Land of Hell (2013)




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