Another World [VINYL]
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US LP release. 2008 release of Another World by Antony and The Johnsons. Angel-voiced transvestite songwriter Antony, backed by his band the Johnsons, garnered both critical praise and a surprising amount of commercial recognition following his 2005 breakthrough I Am A Bird Now. His emotionally stark, soulful ballads are genuinely affecting and have made devoted fans out of Lou Reed and Boy George, among others. Antony took home the U.K.'s esteemed Mercury Prize in 2005.
Top customer reviews
Apparently a stepping stone along the way to new album
'The Crying Light' due for release sometime next year.
2005's Mercury Prize winning collection 'I Am A Bird Now'
tore our nerves to shreds with its' raw revelatory exposure.
'Another World' plunges us once again into strange and
turbulent emotional territory.
Opening track 'Another World' is every bit as beautiful
as his masterpiece 'Hope There's Someone'.
Spare and bare and disturbing in its' stark simplicity.
'Crackagen' has a fragile, jewel-like melody, carried
sublimely by the gorgeous piano and string accompaniment.
'Shake The Devil' (like the artwork) is the stuff of nightmares.
The childlike rhyme concealing a dark and terrifying heart.
From its' quiet ambiguous opening to the raucous bluesy
ending this is a very fine song indeed.
The halting progress of 'Sing For Me' belies another fine
composition which manages both to bewilder and beguile.
Final track 'Hope Mountain', with its' elusive folk-like
melody, minimalist piano and brass arrangement and half-heard
whisperings concludes this extraordinary recording.
Far to the left of the middle of the road and all the more
wonderful because of it, Mr Hegarty and his otherworldly voice takes
a few more tentative steps towards some form of rare tranforming light.
The Wolf is willing to follow.
With a Japanese transvestite performance artist adorning the stark black and white cover artwork, 'Another World''s title is misleading, as it is hard to see this EP as a departure. In the main, the Johnsons brand is ostensibly unchanged: the subtle shadings and embellishments very much backgrounded by Anthony's fragile vocals and piano. Things do, however, get weirder on the skeletal gospel of 'Shake that Devil', which pits Anthony's tremulous singing over stark, ominous drones, a big rockabilly breakbeat and saxophone squeals. Shades of Morphine and Angelo Badalamente suggest new, swampier tangents to come on their next full length. Otherwise it's honestly much of a sameness, and none of the songs here improve upon what Anthony & The Johnsons have done before.
First published at The Line of Best Fit
It is quite sparse and that doesn't always work. Introspective can be interesting as long as you take the listener with you. This EP sounds like nothing more than Antony in his studio with a few mates, plonking out a few tunes. It is definitely not a progression from his last album. There is a sense that he wants to go down a far more avant garde route, but is concerned as to whether he will be able to take his fans with him. As a result this EP feels as if it falls between two stools.
I'd even go as far as saying this is dull and certainly didn't connect with me emotionally - unlike Hope There's Someone and You Are My Sister which had me in tears. I don't hold out much hope for the album if the material falls into this camp.
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