About Me

My photo
dublin, Ireland
DIRECT ALL ABUSE, PRAISE AND GENERAL ENQUIRIES HERE: braintumoursforbreakfast@gmail.com

Search This Blog

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thirty Days of Music- Part IV

Profuse apologies for my tardiness. I have poor time-keeping and exams to study for.

It’s bizarre that the same music prize that honoured Ms Dynamite also managed to commend I Am A Bird, the endlessly affecting sophomore offering from Antony and the Johnsons. Even the album artwork perfectly encapsulates the emotions invoked by song; a glossy black and white photograph of a stunningly beautiful but ultimately spoiled young woman- Candy Darling on her deathbed. Miss Havisham set to music.

Antony and the Johnsons conjure dark, Vaudevillean impressions of freak shows and gothic baroque, stained gospel and schizophrenic soul, all emanating from smoke-billowing concert saloons. One of the most gripping things about the music is that no matter how stirring and heart swelling it can sound on the surface, it’s always set off by a tortured undertone.

Today is a song that makes you sad.

Antony and the Johnsons- Fistful of Love

“Fistful of Love” is a sadomasochistic love song, romantic and concomitantly painful, a perfect example of the binaries that Antony Hegarty has put to work. His voice, laced with traces of soul legends Nina Simone and Otis Redding, has the force to carry the song to exhilarating, soaring heights and yet is strangely vulnerable- his vocals have a vibrato that could inspire tears. A poignant spoken word introduction by the eternally tormented Lou Reed is accompanied by a touchingly simple piano line which gradually swells to absorb soothing, soulful guitars, a jagged distortion and a stirring brass section. The instrumentation is so beautiful it has the potential to render “Fistful of Love” unstoppably uplifting, but the lyrical content is so unsettling that incidentally, there’s an underlying, arousing poignancy to every note. One of the few songs that has the potential to make me weep*

* Especially if I’m hammered. Drinking wine. By myself...

No comments:

Post a Comment