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Artists I’m Supposed to Like: Antony and the Johnsons by jason
August 25, 2010, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Artists I'm Supposed to Like | Tags:

I first heard Antony and the Johnsons on the concert film I’m Your Man, in which various artists covered Leonard Cohen songs. Before that, I had read about the band online and in some of the more indie music magazines. Under the Radar calls Antony Hegarty, the lead singer, “a songwriter with an otherworldly vibrato and an ear for songs that ached with an uneasy desire for transformation and transcendence.” Pitchfork.com says, “The greatness of this downcast crooner is the melding of that otherworldly trill with a dark, powerful aesthetic.”

I don’t like it.

He sounds a bit like Aaron Neville. I’m not a fan of Aaron Neville. He has a weird voice, and so does Antony. And really, Antony and the Johnsons’ music is on a completely different part of the musical spectrum than what I normally listen to, yet it seems that people who like the same music as me make room for his music.

Part of the hype might be that Antony has the Lou Reed seal of approval. They’ve performed together, and Reed did guest vocals on one of Antony’s songs. And Lou Reed is one cool mofo. So I can see that, by extention, Antony must have some cool points right off the bat.

Another reason for the appeal might be the subject matter of Antony’s songs. He sings about GLBT issues. This is important to a lot of people…people who feel alienated in a world that often makes their way of life the subject of fear and hatred. I get that. I get that his songs sing to people are going through these same issues and are trying to find their place. It helps to have that. But I don’t relate.

There’s also the visual asthetic of the whole thing. This was the image that was used to advertise his last album:

This ran in Under the Radar magazine the issue before the album came out, as well as the issue after the album came out. There is nothing about that image that makes me want to listen to this album. I am unintrigued.

Anywho, here’s a video. Maybe someone else can explain the hype to me.

-jason

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