Antony and the Johnson, Cut the World (Rough Trade)
Sunday 05 August 2012
Timed to coincide with this year's Meltdown Festival, curated by Antony Hegarty, Cut the World – a live album recorded with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra – serves as a fine introduction to Antony and the Johnsons' wider catalogue for anyone who didn't investigate beyond the Mercury-winning I Am a Bird Now.
"My heart is a record of dangerous scenes," he sings on the title track (and opener), setting the stage for the recurring twin themes of his oeuvre, namely a poignant pleasure in abusive relationships and a desire for deliverance to an elusive promised land.
The orchestra's work is subtle and supportive rather than flashy, allowing free rein to that astonishing voice, that peculiar way of ending each line as though he is eating his own words, savouring them.
Fans of a sceptical nature will cringe throughout "Future Feminism", a rambling seven-minute monologue which hits a few nails on the head but misses far more, concluding that "unless we move into feminine systems of governance we don't stand a chance".
But when he follows it by moving into a song as delicious as "Cripple and the Starfish", the whole world will cut him some slack.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food