The recurring metaphors of nature and spirituality within Antony’s latest album (not to mention his back catalogue), The Crying Light supplement his wholly unique, morphing vocal styling in a way that yields one of the most emotionally painful and exciting talents in modern music. The ambiguity of Antony Hegarty’s surreally poignant voice paired with the timeless classicism of his backing band’s baroque arrangements result in another beautifully executed slab of tender ballads.
With fewer sonic experiments than the 2005 masterpiece, I Am A Bird Now, Antony’s latest disc plays almost as a homogenous experience, so the imagery and emotion maintain a consistent forward movement yielding fewer singular epiphanies in favor of a unified whole.
The tentative strings and warm piano pulse of album opener “Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground” breeds familiarity as the song’s narrator explores a dusty childhood moment: a mother and child alone in a dying garden. “Epilepsy Is Dancing” finds Antony’s voice layering and harmonizing within the mix, climaxing with the demand, “Cut me in quadrants, leave me in the corner” as if the separate takes and pieces of his vocal arrangement could be diced like an earthworm to live out separate destinies. “Another World” (which anchored the extraordinary 2008 EP of the same name) is the down tempo bravura cut, where a sleepy piano and silvery streaks of feedback enhance a goodbye to the world of physicality. The album’s standout track, however, is the brief, percussion-driven “Kiss My Name” where Antony’s vocals are enlivened by the full power of his band’s instrumentals. Spindly violin arabesques and throaty staccato flute meld into the jubilant chorus. While Antony can deliver melancholy in all its natural pain and beauty, it’s the album’s sole up-tempo number that allows the group to operate at its most powerful, with that voice becoming a force-of-nature conveyance of hope rising above the prolific sadness of the surrounding landscape.
Favorite Track: “Kiss My Name”
Reviewer Bio - Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles with a girl and a designer dog. He is in a band by himself, has a myspace account at www.myspace.com/wastedpotentialproduction and a production company at (www.wastedpotentialproductions.com) for freelance film, video and journalism work.