Take Me to the Land of Hell

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The Plastic Ono Band's 2009 return Between My Head and the Sky was cause for celebration for Yoko Ono fans, so it's heartening that Take Me to the Land of Hell -- which was released the same year as Ono's 80th birthday -- picks up pretty much where that album left off. Once again working with her son Sean Lennon and a crack team of collaborators including Yuka Honda, Nels Cline, and Cornelius' Keigo Oyamada, Ono sings about the things that matter -- peace, war, New York, dancing -- over sounds that are nearly as diverse as Between My Head and the Sky. Ono immediately throws listeners into the deep end with a pair of songs so potent, they could have come from the band's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The Plastic Ono Band's 2009 return Between My Head and the Sky was cause for celebration for Yoko Ono fans, so it's heartening that Take Me to the Land of Hell -- which was released the same year as Ono's 80th birthday -- picks up pretty much where that album left off. Once again working with her son Sean Lennon and a crack team of collaborators including Yuka Honda, Nels Cline, and Cornelius' Keigo Oyamada, Ono sings about the things that matter -- peace, war, New York, dancing -- over sounds that are nearly as diverse as Between My Head and the Sky. Ono immediately throws listeners into the deep end with a pair of songs so potent, they could have come from the band's heyday: "Moonbeams" is mystical and fierce, with sheets of raw guitars supporting her as she intones "My spirit appears like the sun at dawn" and vocalizes with her one-of-a-kind intensity. Meanwhile, the funky takedown of the American dream "Cheshire Cat Cry" sounds even more like the Plastic Ono Band's early-'70s work, but its rallying cry "Stop the violence/Stop all wars" -- as well as the way Ono implores "who needs it?!" at the end of the song -- is urgent and timeless. Take Me to the Land of Hell spends equal time with the playful electronic direction Ono pursued in the 2000s, and "Bad Dancer" and "Tabetai," a collaboration with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Nisker, are standouts. However, Take Me to the Land of Hell often feels sadder and more reflective than Between My Head and the Sky. Some of its finest moments are as harrowing as they are beautiful: a ghostly loneliness pervades the title track, and on "Little Boy Blue Your Daddy's Gone," Ono's despairing attempts at comfort become increasingly wrenching until her wails ring out after the music ends. Even some of the more lighthearted songs here have a remarkable poignancy, whether it's the bittersweet love song to Ono's adopted city "N.Y. Noodle Town" or the charming breakup song "Leaving Tim," where she sings, "Let's throw that past in the biggest trash can/Our life spent, a lifetime." By the time "Shine, Shine"'s white-hot dance-rock brings the album to a triumphant close, Take Me to the Land of Hell delivers performances with the kind of weight -- and lightness -- that can only come from an artist entering her ninth decade.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/2013
  • Label: Chimera Music
  • UPC: 616892150442
  • Catalog Number: 19
  • Sales rank: 3,133

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Plastic Ono Band Primary Artist
John Lennon Indexed Contributor
Lenny Kravitz Drums, Clavinet
Nels Cline Percussion, Electric Guitar, Loops, Lap Steel Guitar
Yoko Ono Vocals
Erik Friedlander Cello
Joyce Hammann Violin
Yuka Honda Synthesizer, Keyboards, Sampling, fender rhodes
Lois Martin Viola
Doug Wieselman Bass Clarinet
Sean Lennon Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Conductor, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Kalimba, Shaker
Bill Dobrow Percussion, Drums
Michael Leonhart Percussion, Mellowphone
Andrew Wyatt fender rhodes
Julian Lage Acoustic Guitar
Thomas Bartlett Piano
Kevin Harper Bottle
Shahzad Ismaily Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion
Keigo Oyamada Synthesizer, Bass, Electric Guitar
Jared Samuel Synthesizer, Percussion, Hammond B3
Hirotaka "Shimmy" Shimizu Electric Guitar
Merrill Garbus Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Bottle, fender rhodes
Yuko Araki Percussion, Drums
Nate Brenner Bass, Percussion, Vocals, Bottle
Questlove Drums
Christopher Sean Powell Percussion
Technical Credits
Yoko Ono Composer, Producer, Drawing
Adam Horovitz Programming, Remixing, beats
Mike D Programming, Remixing, beats
Erik Friedlander String Arrangements
Yuka Honda Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Sean Lennon Producer, drum machine, drum programming
Cornelius Remixing
Geoff Thorpe Art Direction
Toru Takayama Engineer
Mark Bengston Pro-Tools
Greg Kadel Cover Photo
Christopher Allen Engineer
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