Antony and The Johnsons – Antony and The Johnsons

Antony and The Johnsons

Antony and The JohnsonsAntony and The Johnsons Durtro 050 CD (2000)

Fortunately, Antony’s voice was already established on this debut.  Otherwise, Antony and the Johnsons hadn’t quite perfected their craft.  The basic elements are there, but the strengths aren’t accented enough and the weaknesses, oh, a bit too noticeable.  A reviewer in The Wire once called this too theatrical, and that’s probably right.  I Am a Bird Now took what was here and, like a finely tended garden, trimmed it back to what was needed to let Antony’s beautiful voice shine through and grow to its full potential.  As it stands, this one is burdened by the need for strings, brief orchestrated interludes, and other frills that seem to mug to the audience all too often.  Definitely flawed, but those who like what came later might find it possible to look past the faults.  Best track: “Cripple and the Starfish.”