As the year nears its end, everyone else seems to be posting their top however many of whatever lists for 2005. In past years, I’ve compiled a Top 5 list for albums, songs, and artists. I had planned to do so again this year until I actually started thinking about the music I’ve listened to this year. Then I realized that, musically, 2005 can be summed up in four words: Antony & The Johnsons.
Ok, so that’s actually three words and an ampersand, but you get my point. Though I have greatly enjoyed this year’s offerings from Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, The Decemberists, Patrick Wolf, Leela James, Feist, M.I.A., and others, none of them came close to evoking from me the amount of pure emotion that the music of Antony & The Johnsons has with each listen.
I remember the first time that I heard “Frankenstein”, which was also the first time that I had heard anything by Antony & The Johnsons. It was last winter, sometime in early January I think. After just a few seconds of listening to the song, my mouth fell open and tears sprang to my eyes. I had never been so intensely affected by music before.
I called my husband into the room, knowing that he would love it. We sat and listened to it together, and it was one of those rare, perfect moments when you know that the person sitting next to you is feeling and thinking the exact same things that you are. When the song ended, we both turned to each other and exclaimed in unison “We have to get this album!”.
The number of cds I’ve bought myself this year can be counted on one hand. Two of those cds were by Antony & The Johnsons, and both were worth every penny. If you have not yet purchased I Am A Bird Now, I highly recommend that you do. It is an indescribably beautiful album from beginning to end, as is their 2004 eponymously titled release.
This will probably sound a little bit cheesy, but I mean it in all sincerity. If my heart’s most deepest joy and sorrow were audible sounds, they would be Antony’s voice. His voice is so beautiful and heartbreaking that no matter how many times I listen to him sing, the sound of it still shocks and moves me.
It’s so nice to see the band getting some recognition now, such as winning the Mercury award. They are my first big musical obsession since I took the advice of author Caitlín R. Kiernan in early 2004 and checked out some strange band called The Dresden Dolls. And for me, 2004 was owned by The Dresden Dolls.
2005 is definitely the year of Antony.
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