Sunday, 1 February 2009

1981 John Lennon: Woman

Lennon's first posthumous single release and another number one, though you could be forgiven for thinking it sounds pretty much like the last one; speed up the backing track to 'Imagine' and you could happily sing 'Woman' over the top of it. But whilst the latter is a solid enough effort, 'Woman' is a rather lame and insipid affair.

Obviously dedicated to Ono (though Lennon has said it was meant for all women), 'Woman' simpers for forgiveness and understanding at the foot of a female wronged, though the repeated use of 'woman' (with a clear full stop after it) to start each verse as a means of getting her attention sounds rather derogatory and patronising and only serves to undermine whatever contrition that's being expressed, making the whole thing sound hollow with any emotion at least two steps detached.

Unlike Lennon's own previous declaration of love for his wife in 'Oh Yoko', there is nothing intimately playful about this po-faced dirge that so obviously aspires to high drama yet crashes and burns in a welter of pretentious phrasing and forced rhymes that makes it sound like Lennon is reading directly from a 'How To Win Your Wife Back' manual;
"Woman, I can hardly express, my mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness. After all I'm forever in your debt. And woman, I will try to express, my inner feelings and thankfulness". For God's sake man, just tell her you're sorry and be done with it.

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