Antony and the Johnsons Antony and the Johnsons

This is a reissue of Antony’s 1998 debut album, in anticipation of his forthcoming follow-up featuring his friends and fans such as Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, and Devendra Banhart. It’s hard to imagine this music existing in a pre-9/11 NYC, with its near-sobbing operatic torch songs about "the atrocities of history,” regenerative limbs, rivers of sorrow and the rapture (the concept, not the band, you hipster jackass!). Hearing it now, Antony’s tremulous tenor and cello-laden piano ballads is a soundtrack to sorrow, a healing, hopeful voice that comforts rather than wallows. It’s the sound of the smoke clearing, the weight being lifted, the confusion remaining yet optimism prevailing. (Secretly Canadian)