Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Yoko Ono/IMA

  • Rising [Capitol, 1995] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rising [Capitol, 1995]
Finally history leaves Yoko free to find the music her life has taught her to make. Neither primitivist/minimalist retro nor a final awkward attempt to improve on Season of Glass, this brims with the calm confidence of an semidetached bystander now hailed as a direct influence by all manner of rock bohemians, including some too snobbish to understand that, actually, her late husband was the stone genius in the partnership. Its precondition is the avant-garde's new pop panache. In the world before Nirvana, I doubt any major would have bankrolled the 14-minute title track's virtuoso vocalese, or the shrieks that fill a six-minute number of identical title and lyric: "I'm Dying." What '80s bizzer would have been down with her arch, lovely animal imitations, or the starkly literal "Turned the Corner," or the plainly simple "New York Woman," or the platitudinous "Revelations"? But these days Courtney could cover "Talking to the Universe" and no one would blink. A-