Swanlights

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Swanlights, the fourth full-length by Antony and the Johnsons, reveals that 2009's The Crying Light was a stepping stone that furthered his sophistication as a songwriter, arranger, and singer. While that album's tunes about acceptance, death, transformation, and loss were added to immeasurably by Nico Muhly's gorgeous string arrangements, Swanlights employs the same band, this time augmented by a chamber orchestra. Antony Hegarty uses his voice on this set as much as a textural element in his songs as he does to deliver his poetic, and sometimes head-scratchingly obtuse lyrics, like "Elect the salt mother, for she is a selective Christ." These songs engage with popular ...
See more details below
CD
$14.75
BN.com price
(Save 7%)$15.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (7) from $2.32   
  • New (3) from $8.49   
  • Used (4) from $2.32   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Swanlights, the fourth full-length by Antony and the Johnsons, reveals that 2009's The Crying Light was a stepping stone that furthered his sophistication as a songwriter, arranger, and singer. While that album's tunes about acceptance, death, transformation, and loss were added to immeasurably by Nico Muhly's gorgeous string arrangements, Swanlights employs the same band, this time augmented by a chamber orchestra. Antony Hegarty uses his voice on this set as much as a textural element in his songs as he does to deliver his poetic, and sometimes head-scratchingly obtuse lyrics, like "Elect the salt mother, for she is a selective Christ." These songs engage with popular genres from folk-rock to grand classical chamber orchestral, but they do touch on vanguard art song as well. Their themes often comment on the natural world -- a huge part of Hegarty's moral conscience -- but lyrically, this is a more difficult album to pin down. Album-opener "Everything Is New" features one of his standard tropes: using a repetitive piano line and his voice to play upon the title in various ways, breaking the words up in various combinations and cadences to create a mantra-like effect before bringing in the band, in a near-modal exploration, to hang his lyrics on. "The Great White Ocean" follows it, still using that theme, before becoming its own lovely, near-nursery rhyme; it sounds like a prayer adorned by acoustic guitars, Julia Kent's cello and Hegarty's vocal softly moan between and after the verses. "I'm in Love" feels a bit like Steve Reich scoring an early-'60s Doc Pomus song, with winds, strings, upright bass, drums, and piano all melding in a near-fingerpopping, soulful anthem to romance. "The Spirit Was Gone" is a haunting meditation on death, with Hegarty accompanied by Kent and a small orchestra, but it's countered by the nearly shimmering pop of "Thank You for Your Love." The strangeness of "Fletta," an Icelandic duet with Björk, is in a genre all its own and departs markedly from the rest of the album's contents. The voices are accompanied only by Hegarty's piano. The sparse phrasing is nonetheless insistent; its melody walking the margins of folk and classical minimalism: if the latter was heard by Kurt Weill. Classical aspirations continue on "Salt Silver Oxygen," but these songs as a whole suggest the place where Van Dyke Parks might be entertained by the spring-like harmonies of Vaughan Williams' songs. Ultimately, in mood, ambition, and execution, Swanlights is a testament to Hegarty's increasingly iconoclastic -- yet gorgeously accessible -- brand of art pop.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2010
  • Label: Secretly Canadian
  • UPC: 656605021522
  • Catalog Number: 50215
  • Sales rank: 68,878

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Everything is New (4:32)
  2. 2 The Great White Ocean (4:59)
  3. 3 Ghost (3:08)
  4. 4 I'm In Love (3:52)
  5. 5 Violetta (0:36)
  6. 6 Swanlights (6:07)
  7. 7 The Spirit Was Gone (3:17)
  8. 8 Thank You For Your Love (4:14)
  9. 9 Flétta (4:23)
  10. 10 Salt Silver Oxygen (3:52)
  11. 11 Christina's Farm (7:23)
  12. 12 [CD-ROM Track]
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Antony and the Johnsons Primary Artist
Björk Vocals
Billy Crockett Performing Ensemble
Julia Kent Musician
Doug Wieselman Musician
Leise Anschuetz Performing Ensemble
Briggan Krauss Performing Ensemble
Antoine Silverman Performing Ensemble
Will Holshouser Performing Ensemble
Parker Kindred Musician
Tim Albright Performing Ensemble
Kevin Barker Performing Ensemble
Hiroko Taguchi Performing Ensemble
Thomas Bartlett Musician
Paul Shapiro Performing Ensemble
Anja Wood Performing Ensemble
Maxim Moston Musician
Jeff Langston Musician
Danielle Farina Performing Ensemble
Lisa Albrecht Performing Ensemble
Rob Moose Conductor, Musician
Keith Bonner Performing Ensemble
Suzy Perelman Performing Ensemble
Amy Zoloto Performing Ensemble
James Holmes Conductor
Sara Hewitt-Roth Performing Ensemble
Steven Bernstein Performing Ensemble
Chad Yarbrough Performing Ensemble
Gregg Cohen Performing Ensemble
Troy Rinker III Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Björk Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Doug Wieselman Arranger
Maxim Moston Arranger
Nico Muhly Arranger, Composer
Rob Moose Arranger
Daniel Murphy Layout
Shaun McDonald Administration
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews