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Antony and the Johnsons
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It has been a long time since a singer or songwriter -Antony is both- has moved me so deeply with the dramatic range of his voice, the enveloping depth of his melodies or the courage of his words.
Just consider "Cripple And The Starfish" and "Hitler In My Heart," the second and third cuts, that -particularly if listened together- will absolutely floor you with the tender courage of their lyrics and the glorious beauty of Antony's voice.
For those who may not know his work, I may not be able to offer the kind of references that can serve them well. In term of genre, you can't call it Pop or Alternative, for instance, and expect to have a reliable idea of what you'll hear. If I have to put a style label to this music I'd have to coin a new one, "Alterative," because that's exactly what it might do to you: alter you.
Finally, since I haven't mentioned them yet, a word about The Johnsons. Their sound -almost a chamber ensemble, with the addition of drums and bass- is particularly suited for this music and exquisitely performed. "Divine," a beautiful tribute to the star of many John Waters films, "Twilight" and "The Atrocities" are another three great examples of the band's gift for accompanying Antony.
Although, to my taste, I Am A Bird Now of some songs in the recent EPs (I've reviewed them too, in their pages- may be even more mature statements, this album must be given your full attention. This is a solid five-star album and the first powerful document of an amazing new voice.
There's a swollen pain in Antony's voice that reflects emotional (and perhaps physical) injuries he speaks of in his lyrics.
Listen to this and the newer album "I Am a Bird Now". Just listen. It's powerful, impressive music. I just can't find the most accurate words to describe his soaring, glamorous voice. Perhaps "majestic" works.
Like Rufus Wainwright, Antony seems to proudly express his sexual preferences through music and give power to himself by a voice that could shake mountains. An instrument in itself, the chords and levels he reaches bring even the slower songs to a monumental peak and finish. His sound is best displayed in "Cripple and the Starfish" and "Hitler My Heart." The former is a scene about relationship abuse and the strength that Antony might have had to obtain in such a situation. "Hitler My Heart" might be the effect of such a relationship, trying to express his kindness but having an evil side in his heart he can't let go.
The album changes on "River of Sorrow" a title that breads blue and lonely evenings, but reminds that there is promise in the future. "Can you see the light/At the end of the dark passageway/Take me with you towards this light/Into the darkness passing over the faces in the river."
Antony's album is much expected lyrically. He steps wayside to Wainwright in song writing, but where Rufus is strong in text Antony is strong in sound. Antony and the Johnsons can lead you through an album with little care to what is being said. A mother's lullaby has little meaning to a child that understands no language, but is relaxing and shows love. Antony accomplishes this feat with great esteem, and shows much promise outside of the realm of popular music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Antony has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard! The back-up instrumentals were very good, too. Read morePublished 2 months ago by K. Voepel
Although I am over 75 and I guess I should only like chamber music or stuff like that. I do enjoy the sounds of this particular artist.... Read morePublished on May 15, 2014 by vernon
This is the song used on the show, Cold Justice. I liked it on the show and still do. Glad I bought it.Published on October 2, 2013 by Ginger
I found more to enjoy on 'Cut the World', I particularly enjoyed 'Future Feminism' track. This CD is too noisy and lacks the typical Antony feel.Published on June 22, 2013 by Peter Stolz
The more I listened, the more I liked it. Some of the lyrics are rough-edged, but the songs are strong-willed and honest.Published on December 1, 2012 by Eric V. Fry
Oh - Antony. Such a beautiful angelic creature. His presence is far beyond earthly mortals. His voice and music leaves the listener spellbound during an inward journey of sweetness... Read morePublished on May 22, 2012 by Jeanette Mclean
This album his a huge triumph for Antony and the Johnsons. The emotion and angst is on the very surface of this album. Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by Justin Pruitt
If you like rap, reggaeton or heavy rock, don't even attempt to take this. On the contrary, if you like soft, sad, slow (VERY SLOW) songs, this is for you. Read morePublished on September 30, 2011 by Julio Lopez