Yoko Ono – Warzone

On Warzone 13 songs from Yoko Ono's back catalogue are reimagined with the greatest care and dedication offering a sensitivity that is needed in our world now as much as ever

Album Review by Hannah Clark | 15 Oct 2018
  • Yoko Ono – Warzone
Album title: Warzone
Artist: Yoko Ono
Label: Chimera Music
Release date: 19 Oct

There's an eerie stillness amid the bruising soundscape of Yoko Ono’s Warzone. Ono has been outspoken throughout her life about the inequalities, frustrations and dangers of the world we live in, and her new album is no different. Across 13 songs from her catalogue of past-work, spanning 1970 to 2009, Ono takes her listeners on a journey through her philosophies, concerns and triumphs. With a selection of tracks released over several weeks, Ono has blended intrigue with generosity, sharing her art with characteristic charm.   

Ono’s voice takes centre stage throughout Warzone. The title track strips away much of the rage and sweltering instrumentals found in the original and instead Ono speaks and sings across the rattle of gunfire and vibrating synths. Her messages range from hopeful intonations for our future in I Love All of Me, to the elongated lament that is Why. The fiercely poetic lyrics in Hell in Paradise are delivered as if in an echo chamber, symbolic of a repeated cycle of social injustice. These tracks have been reimagined with the greatest care and dedication.

For over 50 years Ono has been an iconic figure in the music, arts and cultural scene of America and beyond. Warzone is as much about her individual experiences as it is about the world we all inhabit. The album is not without flaws, the sentimentality of certain songs occasionally threatening to spill into the maudlin, but the overriding sense is one of deep and critical reflection, offering a sensitivity that is needed in our world now as much as ever.

Listen to: Hell in Paradise, I Love All of Me, Imagine