while antony himself has been busy guesting on plenty of albums we really haven’t gotten any new music from antony & the johnson’s for over three years. the another world ep is the first single from their highly anticipated (by me anyway) album the crying light. the crying light was originally suppose to be released in the early fall, but got pushed back to early 2009. there are rumors that it may be out around january 20th, i’m not holding by breath though.
as for the another world ep, there is really no way i was not going to love this, and what can i say about them that i haven’t already said time and time again on this site. this 5 song ep is kind of like a teaser for us, almost a way of placating us till the album comes out. it starts off with “another world”, which is sort of a lament for the world and the environment. in interviews antony has been talking about how climate change has been a concern of his, he has achieved in making a poetically beautiful environmental love song. “crackagen” is a song that has spurred a bit of debate on justonestar (the antony forum). the song could be about an abusive father pushing his child down the stairs (a theory i don’t think i shared yet on the forum), the jury is still out. a&tj have been playing it live for quite a while now. the melody is simple and haunting, i keep finding myself humming it. a&tj take a risk with the soulful free jazz skronk number “shake that devil”. a song that i want to say is about a person battling with his conscience, fighting the urge to do evil. truthfully i am not a hundred percent behind this song, i may have to see it live to get a real feel for it. “sing for me” seems to tell the tale of a girl so worried about the death of her mother so she tries to kill herself. while the song is strong in emotion, it seems a bit short, almost incomplete. it leaves me wanting more each time. the closing track “hope mountain”, reminds me of stories native americans might tell around the fire. those tales often connected humans with animals and the soil in a way to teach respect and how to honor the planet. as cheesy as that sounds, they pull it off wonderfully.
the production and instrumentation of the album is reminiscent of john cage and philip glass, following a minimal and almost cyclical approach. instruments are introduced one at a time, slowly so that you can appreciate the affect they are having. this style has a huge affect on the album, especially when mixed with antony’s voice. speaking of antony’s voice, i didn’t think it could get much better, boy was i wrong. after seeing him live a little while ago, and hearing these new songs, i get a sense that he is just beginning to find the strengths of his voice. i am in awe at what he can do, he can sing right into your soul.
the video for “another world”