I Am A Bird Now, is the second full-length album from extraordinary New York artist, ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS, and features contributions from both Antony's peers (RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, DEVENDRA BANHARDT) and heroes (LOU REED, BOY GEORGE). Their involvement reflects both their admiration for Antony, and his unique place in the contemporary arts community. Antony was recently in Australia to perform at the LEONARD COHEN tribute nights at the Sydney Opera House. BERNARD ZUEL reported in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: And in the category of "where the hell has he been hiding?" was the hulking, shambling figure of New York singer Antony, who left open mouths on and off the stage with his heart-piercing explorations of The Guests and the prayer-like If It Be Your Will. The reacton from the audience on each night was astounding, they were simply transfixed by his vocal delivery and performance. I Am A Bird Now is going to be 2005s left-field hit record. Antonys gospel songs come from another world.
Its not often that an album released in January gets called one of the best of the year in near-unison, but the second full length by Antony and the Johnsons is so startlingly beautiful that it simply has to be. Like his friend and compatriot Devendra Banhart
, Antony is a super-talented singer-songwriter with a flair for dramatic artsong. But the cherubic Antony is so original he must get mistaken for an alien quite often; he sings like a bluesy opera singer and switches timbre from masculine to feminine in the space of a breath. The only vocal comparison that comes close is Nina Simone
. Antonys honest lyrics deal with deep wounds and troubled desires with matter of fact poetry and subtle humor, as in a short story by JT LeRoy. Aided and abetted by a versatile band thats often closer to chamber orchestra than rock act, Antony delivers a visionary album with I Am A Bird Now
. Oh yeah: Rufus Wainwright
, Devendra, Lou Reed
and Boy George
all appear on here, too. --Mike McGonigal