Monday, December 5, 2011

Antony & the Johnsons Swanlights

Antony and the Johnsons is an acquired taste to say the least. Antony’s nearly operatic and overly theatrical voice seems more suited to productions on Broadway than a record label, but here they are on his new album, Swanlights, belting out torch song after torch song as if all the world was a stage.

Swanlights is laden with piano instrumentation and a whopping amount of falsetto glass rattling vocals that could very well drive you insane. I’ve tried to like Antony and the Johnsons, I really have…but the overwhelming and over the top vocals are just a bit much for me to get use to. There are lots of interesting ideas here and the use of piano with Antony’s vocals is the perfect vehicle for his songs, it’s just that at times he sounds as though he’s dying and being pulled apart at the seams.

If you enjoy musicals, dramatic songs, and falsetto vocals with actual proper singing you might very well fall in love with Antony and The Johnsons. For me, I can’t handle it. Swanlights is one step below Opera and as much as I love classical music I can’t stand opera. Sorry Antony.

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