Picks and Pans Review: Starpeace

updated 12/02/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/02/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

Yoko Ono

It is almost inconceivable that any major label would distribute this album—or do anything else with it except toss it out the window—if Yoko weren't who she is. She remains an atrocious singer. While she is not at her caterwauling, wounded-puma worst on this album, her voice is still limp and sour, like an old dish-rag. Her songs are foolish, too. Most of them sound like the work of a withered flower child, with droning graceless paeans to peace and love ("I love you, Earth/you are beautiful/ I love the way you are/I know I never said it to you/But I wanna say it now."). Then there is the vindictive Remember Raven, aimed at people who have criticized her and/or her late husband: "While you're busy trying to conjure up dirt on me/Your pony's sucked dry by an African bee/The muck you rake is not enough to keep your turd at sea." The childish sweetness of son Sean's voice comes as something of a relief amidst all this. Co-producer Bill Laswell does his best to cover up Ono's presence with a spiffy rhythm section that includes reggae regulars Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. But as a musician, Yoko is beyond help. (Polygram)

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