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I Am A Bird Now


Price: £8.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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I Am A Bird Now + Antony And The Johnsons + The Crying Light
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rough Trade
  • ASIN: B0007GFG5Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,186 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hope There’s Someone
2. My Lady Story
3. For Today I Am A Boy
4. Man Is The Baby
5. You Are My Sister
6. What Can I Do?
7. Fistful Of Love
8. Spiralling
9. Free At Last
10. Bird Gerhl

Product Description

Antony and the Johnsons' second full-length recording, the haunting and affecting I Am a Bird Now, is a far more intimate affair than their debut. Antony's bluesy parlour room cadence is more upfront here, resulting in a listening experience that's both exhilarating and disquieting. "Hope There's Someone" is a sombre opener, and its plea for companionship, augmented by a sparse piano/vocal arrangement that rises into the air by song's end in a swirl of multi-tracked harmonies, is ultimately uplifting. This formula is applied to too much of the record and never ceases to elicit honest emotion from either Antony or his numerous guests. Rufus Wainwright takes the lead on "What Can I Do?," a languid meditation on death that conjures up images of rainy streets, lonely lampposts, and cigar smoke--it's brief (under two minutes) but alluring like the cover of a Raymond Chandler novel. Boy George joins Antony for a duet on the soulful and empowering "You Are My Sister," Devendra Banhart lends his warbly tenor to the lush "Spiraling," and Lou Reed plays noodly guitar and recites an anonymous poem on the mischievous "Fistful of Love." It's a testament to Antony's skill as a writer and arranger that these guest appearances are completely devoid of pretence, and while each artist is reverent to the source material, it's still Antony's show, as the most powerful moments on I Am a Bird Now are his. --James Christopher Monger, All Music Guide

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Bassett on 13 Feb 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's not often that new music in 2005 can stop you in your tracks, but it was only those made of granite that weren't hushed into an awed silence the first time they heard Antony sing. "Hope there's someone who'll take care of me when I die", the opening words to the best album of the year.
From the Peter Hujar photo, Candy Darling On Her Deathbead, that adorns the sleeve, to some of the subject matter - breast amputation (My Lady Story), domestic violence (Fistful Of Love) and gender confusion (For Today I Am A Boy) - it might appear to be a hard shell to crack, but what makes I Am A Bird Now all the more compelling is that Antony is able to take what are profoundly personal words and transform them into something highly ambiguous and hugely accessible.
Nonetheless, it is Antony's voice that, for many, is the main draw. Equal parts Nina Simone, Labi Siffre, Billie Holiday and Jimmy Scott, Antony sings with such sadness, such belief, such frailty and such authority that he could be singing about anything and it wouldn't matter. Even better then, that the lyrics should be so affecting and challenging.
It's somewhat fitting an album which, more than anything, draws on feelings of isolation and loneliness should have such a stellar cast of supporting players. Long-time Antony champion, Lou Reed, adds an unpretentious and almost terse spoken word intro to Fistful Of Love, before Antony delivers a heartbreaking account of domestic abuse ("I feel your fist and I know it's out of love"). Immediately afterwards, Devendra Banhart adds some disturbing incantations to the beginning of the staggering Spiralling.
Just preceding those two songs is What Can I Do?
Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Guppy on 21 Nov 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you can coax empathy from the average stranger by singing about the pains of being a 6ft 5 plus transvestite, you must have a way about you. If you can do it while wrapping your vocals in a quivering mixture of Brian Ferry and Nina Simone, delivering delicate torch paeans to confusion, fear and eventual release then you're a rare talent.

This is simply the finest album of the year. It's just devastating, to be honest it's sometimes a little too much to take...the way he sings 'I tell you I love you, and I always will...I know you can't tell me' during 'Fistful Of Love' kills me everytime I hear it...easily one of the finest soul songs of the last ten years, you can just feel the fragile desperation and need seep from every word. It's heartbreaking.

Like I said, it's not easy to place someone in your position and make them feel your particular pain through a collection of four minute songs, but this album has the honesty and beauty to do just that...it aches for your attention.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Dec 2005
Format: Audio CD
I see that this album is creating many different reactions, from rave reviews to outright ridicule. Great! Any artist that polarises opinion must have something going on. Look at Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and the Sex Pistols. I remember my dad being outraged at a painted David Bowie in the 70’s…”Is that a boy or a girl!” If you only ever had artists that lots of people like, you end up with a world full of Robbie Williams.
Antony and the Johnsons will never appeal to everyone. Like Bjork or Kate Bush, either Antony’s voice will speak to you or it won’t. You will get it or you wont. As it is, this collection of moving songs touched the part of me that knows loneliness and disappointment, the part of me that has experienced triumph despite adversity, the part of me that craved a real singer with something to say. I have listened to this Cd for most of the year, and each time it touches me, and each time I find something new. I hope Antony keeps making these personal yet universal songs for years to come.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hunt on 13 Nov 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's been said before, but Antony has the most amazing voice. Completely original which is why it is such a love/hate sound. To be honest on my first listen i thought the voice ruined it, but then the more i listened to it the more i loved it. The subject matter of the album is particularly moving as it comes across as completely heartfelt and sincere, each song filled with a mixture of pain and hope as Antony struggles to come to terms with what he is and what he wants to become.

The instrumental backing throughout the album is sparse and simplistic, mainly centred around piano and strings. This type of instrumentation compliments Antonys style of singing perfectly as it does not draw attention away from his voice.

Overall I'd definately reccommend this album, although it will have to 'grow' on some people.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Primate on 27 Nov 2005
Format: Audio CD
WOW, listening to this for the first time was the audio equivalent of driving past a traffic accident, I didn't think I wanted to listen but couldn't stop myself. I can't think of anything to compare this to. I'm not especially fond of piano ballads, certainly have nothing in common with an emotionally tortured 7 foot tall transvestite and can't say that I related to any of the lyrics at all. So when I say that this album is a masterpiece and is one of the most original albums I have ever heard, you may get an idea of just what genius this is.
If you are looking for something mainstream, or think you're musically cultured because you like Coldplay, this album may go right over your head or even upset you.
If you want something different this is it!
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