Chris Richards’s June 19 Style review of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Everything Is Love” album, “Playing musical couches,” was great but failed to mention that Beyoncé and Jay-Z are not the first couple to deliver a musical therapy record worthy of attention. John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Double Fantasy” album was released on Nov. 17, 1980, to disappointing reception. However, after Lennon’s murder three weeks later, the heavens opened and the album won the Grammy Award for album of the year.
Though they were passionately in love, Lennon and Ono suffered through Lennon’s infidelity, fear, anger, separation and adjustment to a “normal family” life. But fearlessly and with jaw-dropping honesty and passion (for which Ono rarely received credit herself as a trend-setting artist), their tight music and lyrics still make me cry, especially Lennon’s “Dear Yoko,” a 1950s-style rock-and-roll ditty, his sad “I’m Losing You,” Ono’s edgy and taunting “Give Me Something” and her resigned “I’m Moving On.”
This album lets the listener into their raw struggles and reminds one of how a partnership can be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s also a testimony to the healing power of art, both creating it and listening to it, and to a collection of songs that delivers them both to a higher pinnacle of achievement while offering the world a diamond of timeless brilliance.
Barbara Elisse Najar, Potomac