Antony & the Johnsons
The Crying Light (Secretly Canadian)
Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Feb. 20, 2009
Antony & the JohnsonsThe Crying Light (Secretly Canadian)
Antony Hegarty's second LP, 2005's I Am a Bird Now, was refreshing, haunting, and unusual, a picture of struggle and self-actualization from the Lou Reed crony. The Crying Light, dedicated to centenarian Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, who graces the album's cover, is a different animal. Opener "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground" and "Another World" echo Bird, but the Johnsons misstep into lounge for "Epilepsy Is Dancing" and the repetitive "Kiss My Name." Hegarty's preternatural falsetto burnishes "Daylight and the Sun," and his Celtic roots pluck "Dust and Water" from a melodramatic sea. Piano graces the most organic of the bunch, "One Dove" and closer "Everglade," providing the soil from which the remainder grows. Far from a slump, The Crying Light is simply less personal, developed out of nature and stewed in Hegarty's natural showmanship and knack for the unsettling.