Yoko Ono | Open Your Box (Astralwerks)

cd_onoAll premature snickering aside, the album is curiously listenable, if not utterly scatterbrained in electronic stylings.

 

 

 

 

Yoko Ono has quite simply built a career around a series of oddities, so would it really shock anyone to discover her latest release, a collection what's considered some of the best Eurotrash remixes of her music? Probably not, even though it's hard to say that this release was intended to convert anyone outside of the dance scene, a scene from which I'm pretty far removed. Featuring a cover that's a zoomed out version of Ono's Yes, I'm a Witch album, one can't help but snicker at the red double entendre that is the title of the album. Really, you should be used to it by now, as Ono's last international artistic scandal occurred in Liverpool where she bombarded the city with photos of a woman's nipples and vulva in a piece entitled, "My Mummy Was Beautiful." All premature snickering aside, the album is curiously listenable, if not utterly scatterbrained in electronic stylings.

Though a conversion to Oko's musical stylings seems a bit farfetched, this CD might prove more accessible to those who've found her music a bit too off-the-wall for their tastes. The album includes three remixes of "Walking on Thin Ice," two of which are provided by the Pet Shop Boys and Felix Da Housecat, both providing a more disco-oriented feel to the song than the third, a jungle-fused remix by Danny Tenaglia. Perhaps the most jaunting oddity of the CD comes from the final track, DJ Dan's puzzling "vocal mix" of "Give Peace a Chance." I really can't imagine a bunch of people grooving on the dance floor to Ono muttering, "Let's come together and work it out," followed by a vocal choir chanting "All we're saying is/ give peace a chance," but I'm sure things like that are considered the norm in a German discotheque. The highlight of the CD, however, is found on its first track, Bimbo Jones' main mix of "You're the One," easily one of Ono's finest singles.

Ono has always had a hard time garnering respectability after the death of Lennon and the disbanding of the Beatles, but she's still one of the most unique and challenging artists of our day, whether you like her or not. Though Open Your Box is certainly a strange concoction, it's rather enjoyable in its complete lack of necessity, though don't expect to hear it playing at any clubs this side of town. B | Joe Bowman

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