Swanlights - Antony and the Johnsons
Swanlights Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: With their fourth album, Antony Hegarty and the rest of his New York City band infuse atmospheric intonations, innovation, and heartfelt emotion into their experimental music.
  • Record Label: Secretly Canadian
  • Genre(s): Vocal, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Art Rock, Chamber Pop, Cabaret
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Again and again, Antony gestures toward a light: a crying light, a swanlight, a luminous impossibility that beckons, ultimately serving only to illuminate the sadness of this world.
  2. 80
    Death, love, the ghosts they leave behind: these are grand themes, and Hegarty channels their spirit with magical grace. [Nov. 2010, p. 100]
  3. On Swanlights, Antony takes a cue from Hamlet: the purpose of art is to hold a mirror up to nature.
  4. 80
    The styles that parade their way onto Swanlights would probably be the most noticeably diverse change from what happened on previous albums.
  5. Dec 23, 2010
    He captures the otherworldly more often than not. Occasionally, though, the songs overreach or miss some central point.
  6. Oct 27, 2010
    Swanlights is less straightforward than his other records and more operatic. It's still astonishingly beautiful.
  7. Swanlights is curiously one-note, occasionally self-indulgent and fails to leave a strong impression. Or perhaps Hegarty's simply raised the bar impossibly high for himself.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Oct 11, 2011
    Swanlights, the fourth studio album by the New York artist, is what fans might have expected: a string of beautifuly composed and orchestrated haunting songs about yearning, dealing with death and alienation, finding your own place in this unstable world. Antony sings as good as ever, and the songs feel lighter and more cheerful than the last time around. Perfect record for long, dark autumn evenings. Expand
  2. Oct 22, 2010
    After the rather glum and subdued "The crying light" Antony turned again to death, womanhood and the earth. However, for the first time, this album is much lighter in tone. The arrangements sparkle and shine, rarely has he seemed more at peace. A masterful album. Expand
  3. Jan 31, 2014
    lures you into a fog of beautiful melody
    To say this is a mellow affair would be putting it mildly. The sound Antony and his buddys create is
    difficult to describe and you really have to listen to them to understand what I mean by this. Can you really label their music pop? The music is dished up in equal measures of beauty and weirdness. The songs are artfully and intricately put together and there is obvious craft gone into the record. There are no bad tracks and the worst I can say about the record is that the title track, while it has its moments, is a bit long winded and I'm not sure if it ever gets to a point. "Ghost", "Fl├ętta" and "Salt Silver Oxygen" are the stand outs.

    If I was to try and describe the mood of this record, it's like the listener is lured into a fog of beautiful melody only to find themselves falling into a bog and not being able to get out.
  4. Oct 20, 2010
    Wow. Whatever heartbreak I feel listening to "Everglade" from 'The Crying Light' is crushed into a yawn over this album. It's somehow meandering and disjointed all at once. Every song is one to two stars in iTunes, which is all the more disappointing given that Antony can make really great music. Expand

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