Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light
Antony proves he was well worth the wait with album number three.
It feels like aeons since Antony & The Johnsons' majestic I Am A Bird Now snatched the Mercury Prize. In reality, only four years have elapsed since that fateful eve but group lynchpin and New York-dwelling cooer Antony Hegarty - sans dabbling with euphoric disco ensemble Hercules And Love Affair - has been as reticent as the record’s coy melodies.
Finally returning with The Crying Light, Hegarty remains ill-at-ease with the limelight’s blinding gaze; fortunately, he’s retained a penchant for jaw-gaping compositions. His unmistakeably enunciated chords soar across every ivory-keyed arrangement like a sea bird migrating to the heavens. Subtly nuanced numbers like One Dove and Daylight & The Sun are still riddled with the inherent complexities of an outsider looking in but furrowed beneath is an optimism that stirs hope into the heart-melting vignettes. It may have taken an age but, here, Antony proves he was well worth waiting on. [Billy Hamilton]
Antony and the Johnsons play The Playhouse, Edinburgh on 4 Jun.http://www.antonyandthejohnsons.com