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Yes, I'm A Witch

Yoko Ono Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Feb 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone/EMI
  • ASIN: B000MTEB7W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,301 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Witch Shocktronica Intro
2. Kiss Kiss Kiss
3. O'Oh
4. Everyman...Everywoman
5. Sisters O Sisters
6. Death Of Samantha
7. Rising
8. Nobody Sees Me Like You Do
9. Yes, I'm A Witch
10. Revelations
11. You And I
12. Walking On Thin Ice
13. Toyboat
14. Cambridge 1969/2007
15. I'm Moving On
16. Witch Shocktronica Outro
17. Shiranakatta

Product Description

At first glance, this looks like it might be yet another one of those records where an older cult artist is paired with a bunch of younger/ supposedly hipper musicians in efforts to add legitimacy to the younguns and street cred to said cult figure. Such is not the case with Ono's version of a collaborative hipster album, Yes, I'm A Witch. Yoko chose all the artists herself, and her choices range from predictable (Cat Power, Antony, Flaming Lips) to not (Le Tigre, Porcupine Tree, Hank Shocklee). The musicians were asked to pick elements of songs from Ono's back catalog and rework them. Most chose her distinctive vocals and created new songs using them (surprisingly, no one chose to work with "Mind Train" off her daring 1971 LP Fly). Unsurprisingly, Peaches chose to rework "Kiss Kiss Kiss," the infamous Double Fantasy song wherein Ono appears to achieve orgasm. Jason Pierce from Spiritualized turns the dance-y 1981 number "Walking on Thin Ice" into a powerful drone/ guitar workout percolating with a drum machine's pulse. The awesomest song is the Flaming Lips' take on Lennon/Ono's "Cambridge 1969," carving a marvelous krautrock-ish groove that cradles Ono's unique vocal talents and Lennon's feedback and makes it something new, and better. The results overall are surprisingly great, though it's a bit disorienting given the eclectic array of artists. Ono fans, of course, will not likely be bothered by that. --Mike McGonigal.

BBC Review

A certain stripe of Beatles fan will never be able to think of Yoko Ono any other way than as the woman who split up the Fab Four - but on the experimental margins, she's built up a firm fanbase of acolytes who know her as far more than John Lennon's former wife.

On Yes, I'm A Witch, Yoko hands over the master tapes from her extensive back catalogue to a host of celebrity fans with carte blanche to remix them as they please. One thing's for sure, it's a pretty impressive list: from symphonic indie-rockers (Flaming Lips, Spiritualized) to new-wave feminists (Peaches, Le Tigre), confessional songwriters (Cat Power, Antony Hegarty) to production maestros (Hank Shocklee, DJ Spooky), Yes, I'm A Witch is a testament to the impressive scope of Yoko's influence.

Sadly, it's an inevitable fact that remix albums like this tend to be a little spotty in quality. Perhaps the best tracks are the ones that don't shy away from the unusual power of Yoko's singing voice. On "Revelations", Cat Power - aka Chan Marshall - is sure to keep the spiritual message of the original bare and stripped down, rendering it as a sparse and touching piano ballad: 'Bless you for you anger/It's a sign of rising energy/Bless you for your sorry/It's a sign of vulnerability'. Meanwhile, DJ Spooky's funky, dub-tinged, "Rising", finds the Washington DC turntablist layering multiple tracks of Ono's voice, using it both as lyrics and as strange ambient screeches that whoosh by, banshee-like, in the distance.

Many of the other tracks, however, feel somewhat redundant. Peaches' reworking of "Kiss Kiss Kiss" simply feels like she's dropped a knocked-off backing track under Ono's vocal (what we'd have done to hear them duet). And you can't shake the feeling, while listening to efforts by Jason Pierce of Spiritualized or The Sleepy Jackson, that you'd just as rather be listening to the original. Still, if it prompts one Beatles fan to delve a little further into Yoko Ono's bizarre, adventurous career, Yes, I'm A Witch has done its job. --Louis Patterson

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hated by all loved by no-one? 23 Feb 2007
Format:Audio CD
I am not really familiar with Ono's work only that she was often blamed for the beatles split and universally hated by all. Therefore I can not comment on her body of work. What I can comment on is this album which is always interesting with a variety of styles ranging from trippy hip hop, rock, acoustic folky like twiddlings and housey dance tracks.

Stand out tracks are the Flaming Lips (Cambridge 69) pairing and spiritualised (Walking on thin Ice)

Give it a go it may dispel a few myths about someone who has been blamed for so much and ridiculed consistently.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witch Queen of New York 18 Mar 2009
By Dudley Serious VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For all her money who'd be Yoko Ono, probably the most ridiculed and reviled
female artist of any serious intent in the last forty years?

She has tenacity, that's for sure, and on this album of collaborations and
remixes a roster of younger, cool (whatever that is) artists gleefully
declare their admiration for a woman who forged her independent female
position way before the likes of Helen Reddy pretended to be pioneers. And
the results are rarely less than inspiring. Get this and then, armed with information,
explore Yoko's back catalogue.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Witchcraft 22 Feb 2007
Format:Audio CD
(I wrote the following review for a student publication, and thought that since there are no reviews here, I'd post it up. So bear in mind that it's not specifically tailored to an Amazon review.)

In the public eye, Yoko Ono is often seen at worst as the evil harpy who single-handedly split up The Beatles, and at best as a weird conceptual artist. "Yes, I'm A Witch" aims to redress that.

For this album, 16 different artists were given Ono's back catalogue and each selected a song to remix and make their own. The results are surprising and this album skips through chillout and insanely catchy dance to unashamedly funky rock, and lots of stuff in-between that a more capable reviewer would undoubtedly invent genres for.

Yoko Ono's unique vocal style has always polarised opinions about her music and she miaows, purrs and yowls her way through the songs here. Although the vocal lines are usually the only remaining elements from the originals, the tracks assembled here throw them into another light and (sometimes mercifully) shift the emphasis away from her singing.

Many of the songs reflect Ono's politics; 'Sisters o Sisters' contains an empowering chant of "Women! United! Will never be defeated!" One of the highlights of the album is The Flaming Lips' reworking of 'Cambridge 1969', the only song here originally co-written with John Lennon. The song becomes a typically absurd but epic track with bombastic drums and carhorns. Elsewhere, 'O'oh', Ono's ode to New York City, almost recalls Alison Goldfrapp to mind. The Polyphonic Spree's 'You And I' begins humbly and then erupts in a full-on, all-singing, all-dancing cacophony. Cat Power's version of 'Revelations' is backed by a heart-wrenching piano, as well as Power's own added vocals.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh John where are you? 31 July 2011
Format:Audio CD
I'm afraid I think Yoko is trying to cash in on the John Lennon sound and technique. Not many CD's do I regret buying but I have serious doubts over this one. It's for hardened Yoko fans only.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astonishing Modern-Day Marvel : Yoko Rewrites History 30 April 2009
By Marc Cabir Davis - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Why is "Yes, I'm a Witch" Yoko Ono's Greatest Album?

Well, for starters, this isn't exactly an album of 'new songs'. It works as a 'greatest hits' compilation of sorts, only all of the 'old' songs have been taken and reimagined by present day artists. And what artists they are! Where on earth would you find work by Antony and the Johnsons share space with Peaches? Where would you be able to catch Apples in Stereo rival the likes of The Flaming Lips? Each of these artists inject their 'special something' into Yoko's excellent back-catalog, and the result is a long, winding tapestry of an album, filled to the brim with excellent tracks, each better than the next.

Sure, it pays to know some of Yoko's music before this, but this music makes it more 'alternative' and 'grunge' to an extent. Yoko has always been a pioneer, but her voice (that voice!) is certainly an acquired taste. For example, some of her more controversial work were always slow ballads (such as the stunning "What a Bastard the World Is" from the underrated "Approximately Infinite Universe"), but almost every track here is a foot-stomper, destined to end up on eclectic playlists everywhere.

The most amazing thing is, there is so much MUSIC here. From genres such as folk, rock, industrial, electronic - its all here, and it works. For every acoustic, sparse electronica classic such as "Death of Samantha", there is a breathtaking version of an oft-forgotten classic (the redone version of "No One Can See Me Like You Do") that will stun and astonish in its' simplicity.

Yoko Ono started off an experimental artist, but not enough people give her credit for her stellar work as a musician. Just try getting your hands on "Season of Glass", which was recorded just after her husband was murdered. What a classic! Only she could take an odd melody, add her even worse Japanese accent upon it, and still make it WORK. For that alone, Yoko Ono deserves more than we give her credit for. If anything, this album should prompt you to discover her extensive, and undiscovered back catalog (an excellent back catalog by any means, with some titles as essential as any Beatles record).

Personal Favorites of mine include "Toyboat" (such a meditative take on life), and the title track, which will provoke and incite, even in this day and age. Yoko Ono's "Yes I'm a Witch" is a seminal album that cannot be classified under any real musical genre (its impossible to). The number of samples used are enthralling - from John Lennon handclaps and callouts, to Cat Powers' riffs - there is something for everyone here.

If you liked this, try getting her son Sean Lennons' indispensable "Friendly Fire". Its an album that is worth revisiting time and again, and like this, a certifiable classic with immense repeat value. And thats really the best aspect of this record - you can put it on repeat and not skip a single track - a marvelous achievement. There is nothing in her mass output of albums that come close to this one.

Get it! Its a vital addition to your library.
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