Top positive review
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confession of love still strong
on January 9, 2010
I come at this album from a different place than most, I know. When it came out I was in the midst of first love for punk and new wave, and Yoko's tracks appealed to me much more than John's. Now I can appreciate the dialogue between them, and love the album as a whole. Here's what the tracks mean to me:
1. Starting Over -- bouyant, bouncy, slightly old-fashioned confession of love
2. Kiss Kiss Kiss -- crazed new wave disco, a celebration of the joys of sex; the layered vocals, the steady beat and the rock guitar all point towards a future that dance music took years to catch up to
3. Cleanup time -- the Lennon version of funky, a 70s homage to blue-eyed rhythm and blues
4. Give Me Something -- every relationship has its bumps and difficulties; this is a confession of doubt and frustration even within a loving partnership. the imagery is stark, simplistic, raw, almost childish. Yoko's good at channeling her Id, but then both she and John sought benefits from primal scream and other therapies of the era
5. I'm Losing You -- great production and pacing on this one, John's side of the story of a relationship in peril; the tragedy of both sides knowing something's gone wrong with no clue how to fix it; hypnotic bass line ...
6. I'm Moving On -- ... which segues into Yoko's nightmare worst case scenario, what if it all just ended? What if she just got fed up and walked away? Is she making a threat, a promise, or just wondering if she could ever be strong enough to do it?
7. Beautiful Boy -- but there's a reason to stick around, and that's a lovely child they both share
8. Watching the Wheels -- was this the biggest single? Big chorus, masterful pop, and a self-deprecating admission from the once-rock-star, now father, now house-husband, and loving it
9. Yes, I'm Your Angel -- I take it they made up; a silly faux-retro curio
10. Woman -- And John remembered all the reasons he's loved her for so long, mysteries and all. To me this is his most contemporary and personal moment on the album, simply a beautifully constructed pop song. It's his "silly love song," delivered with sincerity and wit.
11. Beautiful Boys -- Yoko's variation on the earlier title looks beyond her own child as he was then, and towards his future development, and his own experience as determined by his gender and the world he'll live in. The song is eerie (rather than comforting as John's was), but it's still about a parent imparting wisdom.
12. Dear Yoko -- from the general to the specific, this is like a valentine's card or mash letter made public; the California pop production nearly saves it, but it's a throwaway
10. Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him -- the other big epic (to the Walking on Thin Ice single of the same era, which can be found on the remastered release and is simply one of the best dance records ever released), a grand statement on the power of fate and eternal love; Yoko's turn to be hypnotic and mesmerizing, in her case with the repetitive beat and the innovative keyboard melody
11. Hard Times Are Over -- the former sixties activists can't end the album without a big union rally song, and of course for such a lasting testament of love it's a fittingly hopeful anthem