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Antony and the Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now (Cover Artwork)

Antony and the Johnsons

Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird NowI Am a Bird Now (2005)
Secretly Canadian

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BJRBJR
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I know that Pitchfork isn't too well-liked here at Punknews.org, because, well, they're elitist hipsters who are proud of it. We here at Punknews listen to fast, distortion-heavy music full of pounding drums and power chords. Many times I wonder what a huge punk rock fan can listen to when they aren.
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I know that Pitchfork isn't too well-liked here at Punknews.org, because, well, they're elitist hipsters who are proud of it. We here at Punknews listen to fast, distortion-heavy music full of pounding drums and power chords. Many times I wonder what a huge punk rock fan can listen to when they aren't feeling like being yelled at through a stereo. What if they don't like mellow music (as some of my friends do)? Hopefully this review will broaden your horizons.

Since I am stripped of cash on a frequent basis (and not being as knowledgeable in the field of indie music as I am in punk), I always research an indie album before I buy it. I always take care to research because I don't like wasting cash on a genre of music that I only listen to in order to satisfy my mood swings. This CD is the single exception to my entire collection. This record is so intricate that I can appreciate it in whatever mood I am in.

Some of you may be wondering why I mentioned Pitchfork in the first place. The reason is because Pitchfork rated Antony and the Johnson's second album I Am a Bird Now as the fifth best album of last year. Modern Life Is War's Witness >held that spot here at Punknews. The main reason that I Am a Bird Now was not on many end of year lists is because of the fact that Antony is one of indie music's best kept secrets. Despite his upset win in the best artist category at England's Mercury Awards (the equivalent of our Grammy's) and cameos on his album by semi-popular artists (Devandra Banhart, Rufus Wainright, Lou Reed, and Boy George), Antony's popularity has not skyrocketed. Some of this may be due to his image. Antony is an outspoken homosexual whose songs are inspired by children who suffer from identity crisis (among other topics).

By combining the soulful voice of Nina Simone and the eloquence of artists like Andrew Bird, Antony creates music that speaks right to the listener's emotions and feelings. He tackles issues such as physical abuse (in the song "Fistful of Love") by bringing out the emotions of the person he is describing through a more poetic approach to songwriting:

I was lying in my bed last night staring
At a ceiling full of stars
When it suddenly hit me
I just have to let you know how I feel
We live together in a photograph of time
I look into your eyes
And the seas open up to me
I tell you I love you
And I always will
And I know you can't tell me
No album is without flaws, however. When I Am a Bird Now is finished, the listener feels as if Antony could have lengthened the record maybe 10 to 15 more minutes. This would allow for more of a variety of songs and more opportunities for Antony to experiment with the unique sound he has going with the Johnsons.

I can't wait for what is in store next for Antony. The possibilities are endless.

If you didn't buy this record last year, redeem yourself and pick up last year's best indie CD, hands down.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldTradition - No HomeClap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud ThunderKid Dynamite - Kid DynamiteClair de Lune - Assisted LivingDefiance, Ohio - The Great DepressionModern Life Is War - WitnessPolar Bear Club - The Redder, The Better

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 7, 2006)

I think its ridiculous that many people here bitch and moan about 'hipsters' that listen to indie rock. THey should look at themselves. You are on a punk rock web zine in the commentary section of a review. You're just as closeminded as the stupid little hipster. Its really ironic.

Anonymous (May 4, 2006)

wow. this is some awful, awful shit. What is punknews gonna do for me to get the 5 minutes of my life back, based on that 4 1/2 star review?

Anonymous (May 4, 2006)

Antony is not homosexual, he is transgendered. There is a difference.

This album is amazing.

Anonymous (May 4, 2006)

Since Teen Idles are better than Fugazi.

-Will

you're doing yourself a major disservice if you write this off as just anothetr pretentious indie record.

and whatever happened to when punk was about acceptance? since when does everything have to be four chords and yelling to be good?

Anonymous (May 3, 2006)

No, my point was that you can't completely separate either.

Not to mention that there's no difference between indie kids and hipsters.

-Will

the_other_scott (May 3, 2006)

will

if you think that bands like Wolf Parade, Modest Mouse, or even Cursive sound remotely like The Rapture, Interpol, or The Sounds you're fucking crazy.

Anonymous (May 3, 2006)

boooooorrrring! Way too precious, there are far better bands out there, don't waste your time. I hate music more and more every day.

blade-runner (May 2, 2006)

"I was lying in my bed last night staring
At a ceiling full of stars
When it suddenly hit me
I just have to let you know how I feel"

yeah that part was actually performed, and I assume written by, Lou Reed.

So it's definately not one of the best examples of his songwriting on the album.

Good disc, though.

Anonymous (May 2, 2006)

this is the most overrated shit

Anonymous (May 2, 2006)

"Antony's popularity has not skyrocketed"

really, because they seem to be everybodys hipster darlings......everyone in the mp3 world seem to collect this band like beanie babies.

but just goes to show the digital world that can 'open' up musical tastes still coalesces around norms and trends.

not a badly written review, but way to review a record way after it hits.
wyzo

Anonymous (May 2, 2006)

Is some moron honestly trying to separate indie rock from hipsters?

The two go hand in hand. It's like D Beat and crust punk.

And the Pitchfork sucks because they get all their info from press sheets and try to come off like scholars.

-Will

i like this album alot..definitely not the album you'd expect to see reviewed on punknews.org though.

by the way....the song "bird guhl" is used to perfection in v for vendetta.

Inspection12e (May 2, 2006)

Annoying vocals?

the_other_scott (May 2, 2006)

first of all lets set this straight: pitchfork aren't really hipsters, theyr'e more like indie-rock snobs. in my opinion at least. hipsters tend to listen to dancier, hipper, disco/new-wave/glam/garage type stuff. pitchfork tends to favor more unique/avant-garde type artists.

second of all, this guy is ok, but not great.

third of all, please don't start a reveiw talking about another review website. that just makes it not worth reading.

Anonymous (May 2, 2006)

Goddamn that's some boring music.

Anonymous (May 2, 2006)

This is so punk rock.

rkl (May 2, 2006)

Many times I wonder what a huge punk rock fan can listen to when they arenā??t feeling like being yelled at through a stereo
curtis mayfield is a lot better than this crap, which is only interesting for a schtick value.

skolarx (May 2, 2006)

we did a show with him a few months ago, i thought he seemed scary and then when i read that he was like 6'4" i decided he was really scary. amazing voice, though i can't really get into the music

killcitykills (May 2, 2006)

the mercury music prize is NOT the same as the grammys, no way

LevitateMe (May 2, 2006)

I could never get into this.

DarrenMcLeod (May 2, 2006)

This is a great release, and like you said, it's a shame that Antony doesn't garner more attention.

One of the most powerful and haunting voices in music.

danperrone (May 2, 2006)

i think this shit sucks, is unlistenable, and is highly overrated

oh wow he is gay and sings like a black woman I AM IMPRESSED

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