Antony And The Johnsons

The Crying Light (Secretly Canadian)

Rating: NNNN

Otherworldly torch singer Antony Hegarty returns with his third full-length album, but he’s toned down his melodramatic tendencies, avoiding the overwrought bombast he’s occasionally succumbed to in the past.

Hegarty’s still focused on melancholy piano ballads, and he brought in composer Nico Muhly to help out with arrangements, which has fleshed out his sound with subtle textures and flourishes. He’s also singing less about gender and transformation instead, his lyrics are about the more vague and accessible themes of nature and loss.

Hegarty sounds more in control of his remarkable voice than ever before, and this new restraint suits him. When you’ve got this much emotive power at your fingertips, it’s wise to reel it in a bit.

Top track: Aeon

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