Last time I announced that my next album would be #137, Ofra Haza's "Fifty Gates of Wisdom." Well, halfway through my survivor playlist listen of that, it was actually removed from Spotify. Sheesh. So I moved onto Yoko Ono's "Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band" album instead, which I anticipated would be the most challenging listen of the entire project so far.
It's only six songs long on the original version (I opted not to include bonus tracks that got added later), but avant-garde music is so not my thing that I found myself completely at a loss after the first listen to find anything positive about it, but I kept chugging along. And then, on the last two songs... it somehow clicked? I was astonished, but I actually kind of dug these last two by the fifth listen.
A top 5 is ridiculous for an album with only six tracks, but I will share my thoughts on those top two. So here we go.
2. Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All Over the City
This apparently has lyrics going on (the title lyrics, it appears) but the sound of this is pretty intriguing to me. It's one of the more musical pieces, and definitely an atmospheric one. The title apparently references a miscarriage, and there's a very empty melancholy feel to this one. Ono's voice is not as abrasive as it is in some of the other pieces, making it easier to lapse into the emotional tone of it.
And everything I just said about the previous track doesn't apply to this. This IS abrasive and busy and obnoxious, with Ono wailing what I believe is the word "Why" over and over again in various vocal styles. John Lennon is on guitar here, and the guitar sounds great -- providing a much-needed musical foundation for Ono to essentially riff all over. One review I read called this track "primal," and that's absolutely the right feel here. I'm so fascinated by it.
The albums I've listened to thus far in this project, in order:
- The Roches - The Roches
- Robyn - Body Talk
- Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
- The Breeders - Last Splash
- Patty Griffin - Flaming Red
- Iris Dement - My Life
- Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
- Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
- The Bangles - All Over the Place
- Yoko Ono - Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
- Oumou Sangaré - Moussolou
- Terri Lyne Carrington - The Mosaic Project