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Antony and the Johnsons’ “The Crying Light” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Despite the adulation generously thrown at Antony and the Johnsons for 2005’s I Am A Bird Now, the album is far from easily accessible. And up until the release of last year’s Hercules and Love Affair album, to which Antony Hegarty contributed, I stood firmly by my initial reaction to his music. Upon the first listen, Antony’s voice sort of sounds like your grandma, standing in the front row of her Sunday morning sanctuary, warbling along with the church choir. Of course there are variations to that warble, but you can’t underestimate grandma, either. The main diversion to his primary vocal styling on The Crying Light comes with “Another World,” a track carried over from last year’s EP of the same name. It’s gentle, yet it offers a crisp emotional commentary – something that isn’t primarily heard through his often overwhelming approach. Another interesting detour comes with “Aeon,” in which Antony gives his best stadium-sized rock-ballad. The description sounds disastrous, though it’s anything but – “Aeon” oddly sounding a perfect fit for the entire group. As much as I’d like to say I can enjoy the variation and gripping delicacies of the album, I can’t. The moments where the group reaches beyond its normalcy are the moments that grip me, those are the moments that I find myself returning to. Aside from that, the other eight tracks are far too close to sounding like a chorus of blue-haired beauties for me to honestly appreciate. Nothing against grandmas, of course.