Yoko Ono/IMA

I have always thought Yoko Ono the only thing interesting about the Beatles. While this is probably not the sanest way to begin, it is at least uncompromising, a mode that has long been one of Ono’s greatest virtues and lessons. On Rising (Capitol), her first new album in over a decade (though close on the heels of her astounding Rykodisc retrospective, Onobox), Ono continues not to compromise and so continues to make songs (noises, chants, whispers, conversations, cries) that combine the matter-of-fact thrusts of Conceptual art with the libidinal cerebrations of rock ’n’ roll. Rising ranges from thrashing, aggressive numbers to bass-sexy danceable grooves, from fusion moments to others that are about as close to ikebana as rock can get: her encompassing vocals bridge it all.

Ono has written that the “making of the album served as a purging of my anger, pain and fear,” but her voice and

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