Antony and the Johnsons

Singer-songwriter/pianist Antony is one of those rare artists who, while not unprecedented, still emerges as singular. Pouring forth an arresting vibrato, his presence is gender-anxious and confrontational in its vulnerability. His fey yet firm poise is quivering, tension fraught, but never engulfingly overwrought. Roping in mentors Lou Reed and Boy George and peers Rufus Wainwright and Devendra Banhart for his sophomore full-length, Antony presents faded, frayed glamour as both spectral and stereoscopic. His gilded productions include a bluesy purr worthy of Nina Simone in "My Lady Story" and "Fistful of Love," with its Muscle Shoals horn blurts-meet-Weimar cabaret swoons via The Velvet Underground's shuffle. As a whole, I Am a Bird Now exhibits a downy affinity for androgynous eccentricity.


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