Antony and the Johnsons

The Crying Light

The latest album from this celebrated avant-soul crooner and his
chamber-folk backing band examines humanity’s increasingly complicated
relationship with Planet Earth — which seems something of an
inside joke when you consider that the word used perhaps most often to
describe Antony’s voice is “otherworldly.”

There’s precious little humor to be found elsewhere on The Crying
Light
; like its predecessors (which include 2005’s Mercury Music
Prize-winning I Am a Bird Now), this is sober, serious stuff
about people dying and rivers drying up and what it would feel like
never to see snow again.

But it’s also heartbreakingly gorgeous, and if it’s sometimes easy
to miss the club-kid joie de vivre Antony brought to last year’s
brilliant Hercules and Love Affair album, well, that disc didn’t have
this one’s lush Nico Muhly string arrangements. In fact, The Crying
Light
occasionally feels like a battle between Antony and the
Johnsons over who can make the prettier sound, a contest the listener
can’t help but win. (Secretly Canadian)

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