Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now LP
Label: Secretly Canadian
Holy shit, this record destroys me. Within 30 seconds, this record had already given me chills, unnerved me and literally made me want to cry. On the first listen even It's all about Antony's voice - a rich throaty tenor that slips effortlessly into a keening falsetto. A luxurious vibrato, trilling and wrapping itself around every note. Equal parts Nina Simone, Tiny Tim, Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Scott and even a little Elvis Presley. The instrumentation is minimal with just piano, upright bass, shuffling jazz drums, occasional electric guitar. Some songs sound like jazz standards, some like lost gospel classics, others like timeless spirituals. Soaring and maudlin, without becoming overwrought or overly dramatic. He's sort of like an otherworldly, avant-garde Rufus Wainwright. Or the sort of singer you would find in a piano bar in your strangest dreams. Totally chilling, absolutely haunting and completely beautiful. Features guest performances by Rufus Wainwright, Boy George, Lou Reed and Devendra Banhart.