Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

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Album Review: Yoko Ono – Yes, I’m A Witch Too

2 min read

Yes, I’m A Witch Too isn’t a new concept for Yoko Ono, acting as a sequel to Yes, I’m A Witch, her first collaborative remix album. Various artists choose songs from Ono’s back catalogue to put their own twist on, with a wild mix of genres finding their place on the album, leaving it as eclectic as Ono herself. Not every remix works, and some fit her personal vocal style better than others, but it certainly makes for an interesting experience, if not very strange and disjointed.

Yoko Ono Yes I'm A Witch TooSongs tend to bounce between different extremes of rock, but electronic styles also find their place here, with some of the more avant-garde pieces sticking out. The rock tracks tend to be the ones that fit best with Ono’s vocals, melding particularly well with her son Sean Lennon’s jazzy interpretation of Dogtown and the high energy rock and roll of Jack Douglas’ Move On Fast, which have the most organic feel to them out of the songs here.

The electronic tracks aren’t quite so consistent, though. The simple dance style of Wouldnit works even better than the rock songs, with Dave Aude warping Ono’s vocals into a sassy, robotic tone that slots in perfectly with the beat; Miike Snow’s remix of Catman likewise pitches her to almost cartoon levels, with a breakbeat instrumental featuring ample Disney-inspired noises backing her up. Such effort and care put into the treatment not only of the song, but Ono’s own vocals in those songs contrasts with others, though: while Penguin Prison’s remix of She Gets Down On Her Knees is bubbly and catchy in its own right, it feels like they created a completely new track and just slapped Ono’s original vocal track on top completely untreated. Similarly, Cibo Matto’s trip-hop take on Yes, I’m Your Angel feels perfect in some spaces and disjointed in others, almost like two tracks welded together, detracting from the remix as a whole.

The tracks that work and those that don’t mostly meet at a halfway point; for every track that doesn’t work in the context of Ono’s style and voice, there’s another that does. For every idea that works, there’s another that falls apart, whether it’s trying to be too avant-garde or too pop. It’s a volatile collection that largely hinges on your enjoyment of Ono’s oddly poetic lyrics and her personal style; in essence, it’s for the fans. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it provides a unique insight into the artistic minds of all these remixers and how they handle an artist as singular as Yoko Ono.