Thursday, May 19, 2005

One Day I'll Grow Up And Be A Beautiful Girl

If there was ever an album deserving a "you either love it or hate it" tagline, I Am A Bird Now, by Antony And The Johnsons is it. The initial shock might be the melancholy cover photo of transexual heroine Candy Darling as she lounges in her hospital death bed. Or it might be the forceful, angelic vocals, which leap across any and all boundaries of gender. Perhaps the most surprising: a performer wielding such raw yet delicate emotional depths in a cultural climate overburdened with ironic satire. It's almost unsettling to hear such a personal work informed with unflinching sadness and pain. Every song on this album is weighted heavy with death and mourning, conversely seeking release in metaphoric flight from the darkness, finding its power through defiance against unseen odds. Don't feel bad if you find his work too painful to witness upon first listen--it's taken me almost four months to warm up to this most enlightening of albums. Antony almost dares you not to be affected when crooning the album's opening lines of Hope There's Someone. Press on, and you'll be rewarded. You can find this superb cd at most record stores, or buy it from the record label itself.

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