Album: Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera Music)

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The Independent Culture

Advancing age clearly poses less of a barrier to pop success than in previous eras, as the recent chart placings of Bob Dylan and the Beatles can confirm.

Now it's the turn of 76-year-young Yoko Ono, with an album that confirms the youthful spirit evident on 2007's Yes, I'm a Witch. Just as that project reinvigorated Yoko's muse through collaborations with the likes of Flaming Lips and Polyphonic Spree, so does Between My Head and the Sky reflect the influence of a new-generation Plastic Ono Band incorporating her son Sean and the brilliant Japanese post-modernist sound-sculptors Yuka Honda from Cibo Matto, and Keigo Oyamada, better known as Cornelius. In their hands, Yoko's poems are treated to spindly electro-funk bricolages ("The Sun is Down!"), wistful chamber-jazz reflections ("Memory of Footsteps", "Unun. To") and ragged space-age rockabilly ("Waiting for the D Train"). As befits her age, Yoko's main concerns here are memory, change, departure and healing, as she contemplates the flux between vapour, water and ice in the title-track, attempts to reverse the negative energy of sad songs in "Healing", and, best of all, muses poignantly in "Memory of Footsteps" about the way in which seemingly insignificant memories can expand to fill one's experience. An absorbing and thoughtful work.

Download this: Memory of Footsteps, I'm Going Away Smiling, Healing