When a relative unknown stacks his disc with guest appearances by pop icons, it generally comes off like a cheap, label-goaded bid for mass exposure. In the case of androgynous crooner Antony, whose album features a who's who of beautifully bent talent (Boy George! Rufus Wainwright! Devendra Banhart! Lou Reed!), nothing could be further from the truth. Every cameo here, from Reed's gruff sweet-talkin' on the glorious old-school soul breakdown Fistful Of Love to Wainwright's strikingly low-key solo on What Can I Do?, is perfectly selected. They're all just gravy compared with Antony's haunting vocals - equal parts Nina Simone, Stardust-era Bowie and Inuit throat singing - which quiver and float over airy strings and quiet cabaret-styled piano tinkling. The nuanced emotion of his thoughtful phrasing and hesitant inflection is devastating enough, but his careful lyrical metaphors, which explore loaded issues of sexual politics, gender identity and (sigh) love with a rarefied grace, make I Am A Bird Now simply stunning.