Saturday, January 31, 2009

Review: Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light

Artist: Antony & The Johnsons
Album: The Crying Light
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
In a nutshell: A rustic pre-apocalyptic ode

Contributing his voice to Hercules & Love Affair's self-titled debut album, Antony Hegarty injected a certain elegance in projecting poignancy and pain in one of last year's best single' 'Blind.' This is no mean feat considering Hercules & Love Affair is essentially a disco project.

What we have in 'The Crying Light' is more of the same, without of course the disco music. Antony Hegarty's voice is nothing if not moving. His vibrating vocals just always manages to send shivers down your spine. Through that voice alone he projects a sense of longing, for another world, and for another life.

The album actually starts with the vaguely optimistic 'Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground' and the oddly-named 'Epilepsy Is Dancing.' This song does dance into your ears and is weirdly infectious. Then it plunges into a mournful grief from there on.

The album on its whole is an elegy to our dying world. 'I need another world / This one's nearly gone,' he laments in 'Another World.' There's a simple poetry to his words. It's all idyllic and rustic, but at the same time it's also incredibly mournful. He pays tribute to Mother Nature, singing of birds, seas and the wind, as if they were lovers. 'I'm gonna miss the wind / Been kissing me so long,' he grieves.

'Another World'

Sometimes his singing borders on the appearance of incoherence, never more so than in 'Dust & Water,' which becomes chant-like in parts. This is where he fails. The funereal tone of the whole album does wear you down out of sheer repetitiveness. Though it is beautiful, there is only so much pain and death a person can take in 40 minutes.

Signing out

Over and out

Now playing: Antony And The Johnsons - Everglade
via FoxyTunes

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