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on 20 August 2010
Antony's follow-up to "The Crying Light" has been recorded very quickly. We were ready to wait another four years before a new album came out but, surprisingly, "Swanlights" will be with us in less than two months.

Is this new e.p. a suitable hors d'oeuvre?

- "Thank You For Your Love" is the song that will also be part of the new record. Here we find Antony in a very soulful, Otis Redding-inflected mood. Accompanied by a solid beat and a horn section, he winds his pristine vocals around a laconic, poignant lyric, leading the track towards a crescendo that sounds positively baffling on first listen, but that later on becomes lovelier and lovelier. Not a dramatic departure in style, though, and definitely one of his most commercial singles.

- "You Are The Treasure" and "My Lord, My Love" are piano-led ballads, the former very short and repetitive, the latter just a little more complex with the addition of strings and a slow, brushed beat. They are pleasant enough, but the general effect is Antony by numbers.

- "Pressing On", a Bob Dylan song, comes presumably from one of Mr Zimmerman's christian albums. This is a charming, shimmering version, built around a suspended mesh of light percussions and gently strummed guitars, as usual graced by Antony's fragrant tones.

- "Imagine" is - you have probably guessed it - a composition by Mr Lennon. It seems an absurd choice for a cover and - in our humble opinion - a definite drop in credibility on Antony's part. Why bother with such a worn out "classic", a song that is usually trundled out whenever poeple feel like stating the obvious? Do we need Antony to be this obvious to be accepted by the mainstream?

That said, he gets away with it (nearly) unscathed. His version is very understated, with just his voice, a slowly plucked guitar (no piano) and a wave of sounds / echoes to create a ghostly atmosphere. In this context even the ad nauseam praised lyrics take on a vague hint of interest and seem more attuned to our oppressed zeitgeist: less stadium sing-along, more intimate reflection.

This debatable cover, however, turns out to be the only "innovation" on this offering, that otherwise tends to upset no applecarts in Antony's artistry.

Will the new album toe the tried-and-tested, complacent line? Or is this just a way to lure listeners into a braver work?

We will soon know. For the moment, we can only thank Mr Hegarty for two of these five songs.
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on 5 September 2010
My advice is.... just listen.
(without prejudice! Without any "where does this fit in his body of work?" "How does it follow the last album?")
I think these are wonderful, deceptively simple and repetitive songs on the theme of spirituality.
Thank You For Your Love - a big swelling soul influenced track, with punching horns and wonderfully dizzying culmination that fades off far too quickly.
You Are My Treasure - just piano and vocals. A short and beautiful track. Tremulous twisting vocals.
My Lord My Love - piano, voice, strings, and a little drums. Soft tinkling piano and vocals get swelled out by strings. Exceptionally beautiful.
Pressing On - simple and repetitive. Acoustic guitar, bass and vibraphone. Child-like and gorgeously subtle with the ringing sound of the vibes. (the sound reminds me, although is not the same as, Bjork's Vespertine album).
Imagine - I've always found this song a bit turgid, and that plodding piano, urgh! Anthony's version has a parred down simplicity that makes this song work for me. Just vocal, acoustic guitar and a repeating melancholic noise on a tape loop. As the vocals finish the loop keeps repeating. A mournful and slightly disturbing end.
One track of big soul and 4 achingly beautiful and intimate songs.
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I never thought I'd say it of Antony Hegarty but this
in-betweenie EP recording isn't very good at all.
It really doesn't hold a candle to 2008's five-song
miniature 'Another World'. As a stepping stone to his
forthcoming autumn album release 'Swanlights' it is a
hugely disappointing punctuation mark in an otherwise
unimpeachable and inspiring musical career.

There are three songs by Mr Hegarty, of which 'The Lord
My Love' is by far the best (it is in fact one of his
loveliest compositions) but one out of five is slim pickings
by any standard known to man or beast. 'Thank You For The
Love' and 'You Are The Treasure' are insubstantial and
(particularly the latter) highly monotonous.

As far as the two covers are concerned the least said about
them the better. Mr Dylan's 'Pressing On' and Mr Lennon's
'Imagine' are given flimsy and unpersuasive renditions which
cannot hold a candle to the original arrangements.

Hopefully 'Thank You For The Love' is just a misjudged
sidestep on the way to greater and more beautiful things.
I await the next installment with bated breath.
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on 27 December 2012
Expose your heart and soul to this album, and drift off into a different musical world, let it not be disturbed by commercialism mass marketing or hype .Lie back and enjoy the words and music for what they really mean
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on 1 February 2011
Well, personally, i loved the tracks on this EP. Beautiful lyrics. Simply produced. Sung with understated emotion. I was particularly touched by 'you are my treasure'. Have a listen and make your own mind up about these songs.
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on 8 September 2010
Here is more to be added to the argument that aside from his great (brilliant) statement: 'I Am A Bird Now', he has done nothing further of worth. On that album, he had things to say, subjects to tackle, and arresting tunes and singing to tackle them with. His ep's have nothing to add. This one finds Antony feeling strong with perhaps, his issues worked through. It's very scrappy and poorly thought out. 'Imagine' would be lovely in conncert, but groan-inducing on CD. 'Pressing On' is basically repeating those words. 'Thank You For Your Love' seems to be another way of saying, 'thanks for coming to my concerts and showing your appreciation', nothing more. 'You Are My Treasure' is another pointless, empty doodle. The only worthwhile track is 'My Lord My Love'. It's not great, and ends so abruptly, it seems that the ideas ran out. Without actual EVENTS to talk about, I can't see Antony recording any more music, and instead expect him to remain in this empty, hazy trance.
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