Tuesday, 13 January 2009

RECORD REVIEW: Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light

It feels like aeons since Antony & The Johnsons' majestic I Am A Bird Now snatched the Mercury Prize. In reality, only four years have elapsed since that fateful eve but group lynchpin and New York-dwelling cooer Antony Hegarty - sans dabbling with euphoric disco ensemble Hercules And Love Affair - has been as reticent as the record’s coy melodies.

Finally returning with The Crying Light, Hegarty remains ill-at-ease with the limelight’s blinding gaze; fortunately, he’s retained a penchant for jaw-gaping compositions. His unmistakeably enunciated chords soar across every ivory-keyed arrangement like a sea bird migrating to the heavens. Subtly nuanced numbers like One Dove and Daylight & The Sun are still riddled with the inherent complexities of an outsider looking in but furrowed beneath is an optimism that stirs hope into the heart-melting vignettes. It may have taken an age but, here, Antony proves he was well worth waiting on.

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