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I Am A Bird Now

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Antony & the Johnsons

I Am A Bird Now

12" LP

Availability: In stock

$10.99

Quick Overview

It’s 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. Antony’s 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 that’s 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.

Details

Antony and the Johnsons' second full-length recording, the haunting and affecting I Am a Bird Now, is a far more intimate affair than their debut. Antony's bluesy parlor room cadence is more upfront here, resulting in a listening experience that's both exhilarating and disquieting. "Hope There's Someone" is a somber opener, and its plea for companionship, augmented by a sparse piano/vocal arrangement that rises into the air by song's end in a swirl of multi-tracked harmonies, is ultimately uplifting. This formula is applied to much of the record and never ceases to elicit honest emotion from either Antony or his numerous guests. Rufus Wainwright takes the lead on "What Can I Do?," a languid meditation on death that conjures up images of rainy streets, lonely lampposts, and cigar smoke -- it's brief (under two minutes) but alluring like the cover of a Raymond Chandler novel. Boy George joins Antony for a duet on the soulful and empowering "You Are My Sister," Devendra Banhart lends his warbly tenor to the lush "Spiraling," and Lou Reed plays noodly guitar and recites an anonymous poem on the mischievous "Fistful of Love." It's a testament to Antony's skill as a writer and arranger that these guest appearances are completely devoid of pretense, and while each artist is reverent to the source material, it's still Antony's show, as the most powerful moments on I Am a Bird Now are his.

Additional Information

Artist Antony & the Johnsons
Track Listing 1 Hope There's Someone - 4:21 2 My Lady Story - 3:33 3 For Today I Am a Bouy - 2:36 4 Man Is the Baby - 4:09 5 You Are My Sister - 3:59 6 What Can I Do? - 1:40 7 Fistful of Love - 5:51 8 Spiralling - 4:25 9 Free at Last - 1:36 10 Bird Guhl - 3:14

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