13 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In her 85 years, Yoko Ono has played the pioneer of the primal scream, the icy avant-disco diva, the abstract poetess of peace, and many other challenging roles. She’s also a consummate rebel who refuses to become creatively complacent or remain silent about the world’s ills. Ono’s last major project, the two volumes of Yes, I’m A Witch, invited younger fans like Cat Power and Tune-Yards to help reinvent her songbook. Warzone is another radical act of re-creation, taking 13 songs from across her career and revamping them in startling ways. Just compare the original 1970 version of “Why,” featuring John Lennon’s thrashing proto-punk guitar, with this new take in which Ono shrieks into an unsettling void. Expressly political, Warzone, Ono’s 14th proper studio album, ranks as one of her most difficult listens, full of eerie ambiance, off-kilter arrangements, and scalding vocals. But it’s playfully experimental, too, especially in its lighter second half, which features the giddy, grooving “Children Power” and the blunt-but-beautiful “I Love You Earth.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

In her 85 years, Yoko Ono has played the pioneer of the primal scream, the icy avant-disco diva, the abstract poetess of peace, and many other challenging roles. She’s also a consummate rebel who refuses to become creatively complacent or remain silent about the world’s ills. Ono’s last major project, the two volumes of Yes, I’m A Witch, invited younger fans like Cat Power and Tune-Yards to help reinvent her songbook. Warzone is another radical act of re-creation, taking 13 songs from across her career and revamping them in startling ways. Just compare the original 1970 version of “Why,” featuring John Lennon’s thrashing proto-punk guitar, with this new take in which Ono shrieks into an unsettling void. Expressly political, Warzone, Ono’s 14th proper studio album, ranks as one of her most difficult listens, full of eerie ambiance, off-kilter arrangements, and scalding vocals. But it’s playfully experimental, too, especially in its lighter second half, which features the giddy, grooving “Children Power” and the blunt-but-beautiful “I Love You Earth.”

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