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Keep your wallets closed

Ono - Open Your Box
2 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 27, 2007

Review by Andy Argyrakis

She may have just released Yes, I'm a Witch (Astralwerks), marking the end to a six year silence, but Yoko Ono rounds out a double header of new products with this mixed bag of tricks. Unlike the entirely original Witch sessions, Open Your Box looks to previously released material, but rather than the standard career anthology, it examines her scattered career in remix contexts. There's plenty of star power when it comes to DJs and turntable specialists, which most certainly gives her music a modern face lift- especially in club contexts- though the results range between engaging, uninteresting and irreverent.

On the brighter side, Felix Da Housecat takes a raved up approach to "Walking on Thin Ice (Tribute Mix)," a song that also earns a sweet, synth-laden filtering courtesy of the Pet Shop Boys (who turn in what's dubbed the "Electro Mix"). "Everyman Everywoman (Space Mix)" earns supernatural treatment from Murk's computer trickery, while Bimbo Jones' take on "You're the One (Main Mix)" is a pure bred dance floor packer.

But the brilliance is few and far between, starting with a disappointing contribution of "Everyman Everywoman (Classic II Mix)" by the Basement Jaxx. Though the group is normally dead on at nailing all its solo and remix endeavors, this particular take lacks depth and sonic intrigue, instead turning into a series of sleepy pulsations. In the over kill department "Walking On Thin Ice (Walked Across the Lake Mix)" earns an additional treatment by Danny Tenaglia, but with nearly eight minutes of repetitive beats, this third time isn't a charm. And while DJ Dan may have meant well with homage to the duet between Ono and her late great husband John Lennon come "Give Peace a Chance (Vocal Mix)" the hippie protest ballad sounds ridiculous set in any other contexts than the original acoustics. If it wasn't for the handful of salvageable songs, that disrespectful rendition would be enough for fans to keep their wallets closed.

Watch Yoko Ono's original - "Walking On Thin Ice" video

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