ONO/Tenaglia – “Walking on Thin Ice (Maestro Version)”

The track is a portrait of a body crumpled and floored, knocked off its feet by the intensity of its longing for someone.

Pryor Stroud: Plaintive yet not despondent or utterly without hope, this orchestral-dirge version of “Walking on Thin Ice” showcases Yoko’s cracked-glass vocal performance and conscripts the listener into considering the enormity of loss she’s felt over a lifetime. The nearly axiomatic simplicity of the verses — “Why do we forget what’s been said / And play the game of life with our hearts?” — are supremely affecting, giving material form — via diverging string section tendrils and skittish piano retreats — to the soul-plummets endemic to the high-risk, low-reward contemplation of foregone love. In short, the track is a portrait of a body crumpled and floored, knocked off its feet by the intensity of its longing for someone, much like how Lennon’s body was crumpled around Yoko in the now-famous Annie Leibovitz Rolling Stone cover photograph, except here the body has no one to cling onto; it gropes for flesh that isn’t there. [9/10]

Emmanuel Elone: Like almost all Yoko Ono songs, “Walking on Thin Ice” suffers from Ono’s childish, comical vocals. However, that’s the only thing wrong with this song. A beautiful string section and piano accompany her, and her lyrics are poetic and tasteful. If only someone else was singing them, it would be a neat, lovely tune. [5/10]

Chris Ingalls: Yoko Ono has been getting a bad rap for decades. I’ll admit that a lot of her stuff is hard to digest, but she rarely gets credit for her influence on the avant-garde. While I don’t feel that her music needs to be “prettied up” for mass consumption, this is quite lovely. Danny Tenaglia’s mix puts this classic Ono composition in a new light, pairing up Ono’s halting vocals with gorgeous strings and piano. A beautiful re-imagining of an often-ignored classic. [7/10]

Chad MIller: A beautiful orchestral arrangement do this songs wonders. Ono gives a really interesting vocal performance. It adds a touch of cold to the warm strings, and it’s really effective. [7/10]

Jasper Bruce: I’ve never seen anything that validates The Simpsons‘ parody of Yoko Ono quite so effectively. The video clip is nice, at least. [4/10]

Steve Horowitz: This version of the song is lovely and formal and elegiac all at the same time. Like the smell of flowers in a funeral arrangement, the video adds an element of unexpected charm and a touch of nostalgia to the situation. Oh Yoko… oh my… the ice beneath our feet will inevitably break, but there are mermaids signing in the deep. [8/10]

SCORE: 6.66