Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now

Yeah, I'm jumping on the critic bandwagon. After seeing many top ten lists (and the editor of Popjournalism asking me about it), I decided to check out New York's Antony and the Johnsons. What will instantly get your attention is Antony's unusual voice. It's an opera-blues mix that reminded me of Elvis in his Las Vegas era, but with more heart. Besides Antony's voice, it also happens that he can pen heart-wrenching lyrics. Opener "Hope There's Someone" starts off with "Hope there's someone who will take care of me, when I die" and the sorrow continues in "My Lady Story" with "My lady story, is one of annihilation, my lady story, is one of breast amputation." While every track is dead on fantastic, some highlights include: the full brass band in "Fistful of Love" which also has Lou Reed guest-spotting, "Spiralling" which best features Antony's interchanging voice between feminine and masculine octaves, and finally, the playful "For Today I Am a Boy." Between Antony's voice and dramatic piano playing, his superb lyrics, and the Johnsons' powerful but subtle rhythm section, I Am a Bird Now sounds so simple, but it's completely original when compared to anything else out there. (Secretly Canadian)

Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

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