Yes, I'm A Witch

Yoko Ono has made her most exciting and uncompromising music recording with fans — primarily her husband, John Lennon, and, on 1995's Rising,their son Sean. This set of "collaborations" — new arrangements of Ono's songs with her vocals from the original versions — extends that family to a generationof alternative-rock and dance-music pupils, including Peaches, Cat Power, the Flaming Lips and torch singer Antony, too young to care if she broke up the Beatles (which she did not) but the right age to appreciate the radical modernism of Ono's early-Seventies LPs. Her long-underrated talent for simple, direct melodies makes it easy for these disciples to rescore Ono's songwriting in their own lingo. Peaches amplifies the sexual undercurrent of "Kiss Kiss Kiss" with electro-bump-and-grind. The Polyphonic Spree, usually on the wrong side of twee, bring the right comfortand light to "You and I," and Le Tigre punk up the vintage feminism of"Sisters O Sisters." Antony doesn't make the most of the pairing ofhis high tenor and Ono's higher, plaintive wail; he's too far back in thedark of "Toyboat." But Jason Pierce of Spiritualized takes the avant-discoof "Walking on Thin Ice" further out, with a drone-rock backdrop that echoes Suicide's "Cheree" and noise-guitar eruptions that Lennon surely would have loved.

x