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 Antony and the Johnsons

 Rock Band

The Crying Light - 2009




Antony and the Johnsons

The Crying Light - Antony and the Johnsons - 6.5

Her Eyes are Underneath the Ground/ Epilepsy is Dancing/ One Dove/ Kiss My Name/ The Crying Light/ Another World/ Daylight and the Sun/ Aeon, Dust on Water/ Everglade

And now for something completely different. I always think it is wrong when writing reviews to assume that everyone reading them is knowledgeable about that particular artist. There are still relatively few people aware of the work of Anthony Hegarty despite the originality of his 2005 Mercury Prize winner "I Am A Bird Now". It's certainly worth checking out. This is the follow up. It's difficult to describe Hegarty's voice. Probably Nina Simone is the closest in sound and that alone might give you some idea of the gender bending involved here and previously. This is a difficult album to comment on as it's a mixture of under-stated songs about flowers and the world in general mixed with theatricality. You have to delve beyond the sparseness of some of the music and melodies. There's nothing comfortable about what Antony delivers. On Epilepsy is Dancing he opines "cut me in quadrants, leave me in the corner." Lyrically it's an expansive album about freedom, peace, life and death. The collection of songs is dedicated to Japanese butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno. Apparently butoh is a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivations for dance inspired by Ankoku Butoh (so now you know). Thank goodness that there are people in this world prepared to push the boundaries of art and music. Antony and the Johnsons do it in a subtle and undemanding way amidst some strange instrumentation. Give this one a try. You'll either love it or hate it.