REVIEW: Antony & The Johnsons – Thank You For Your Love

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Antony & The Johnsons – “Thank You For Your Love”

Antony Hegarty has never been one to shy away from his feelings. The British singer/songwriter, head honcho of art pop group Antony & The Johnsons, has earned quite the reputation for his distinctive voice and falsetto method of singing. Throughout the duration of the group’s history, fans have come to expect emotionally driven lyrics and serene, piano heavy ballads. Antony is no stranger to the profound, repeatedly sharing his innermost thoughts and feelings with us, whether apropos of his woes and heartache, or of times of joy and content. Thank You For Your Love, the band’s sixth EP, is more concerned with the latter.

A straightforward and calmer record, Thank You For Your Love does not dabble in metaphors and poetic devices like its precursor, 2009’s dazzling The Crying Light, which deals with the notions of life versus death and light versus darkness. The only likely vindication for Antony’s change of heart is that he’s fallen in love this past year, whether with religion, as “My Lord My Love” suggests, or with a fellow mortal. “You Are The Treasure,” an affectionate poem, finds Antony repeating proclamations of love, each statement more provocative than the last. “You are the treasure/you are the dream/you are the one I’ve been waiting for/you are forever/you are my friend/you are a river of milk to me.” As the title insists, Thank You For Your Love is purely an open declaration of fulfillment and devotion; five tranquil ballads that waste no time stating their premise (on the opening title track, Antony claims “I want to thank you for your love” three seconds in) and conforming to it til the record’s end.

The last two tracks are covers of Bob Dylan and John Lennon songs, though you wouldn’t recognize them instantly. Antony strips these classics bare, removing the instrumental grandeur from the timeless “Imagine,” and the folk charisma from “Pressing On.” Truly making them his own, he poses them as downtempo love songs, consisting only of his insatiable voice and an acoustic guitar. Thank You For Your Love is clearly an opus meant to inspire love and hope in our darkest moments, a poignant record that continues to reveal Antony’s inner self; more specifically, it’s a constant reminder that Antony is grateful for your love.

‘Thank you For Your Love’ EP also serves as the first single to Antony & The Johnsons’ forthcoming 2010 album, Swanlights out October 12.

70 — [Rating Scale]

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