Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Buy On
  1. Dec 14, 2012
    100
    Hegarty has mastered the art of turning performance into a kind of ritual ceremony and the magic of these symphonic concert recordings blows their previously released versions out of the water.
  2. Dec 14, 2012
    90
    Fortunately, the remainder of the album is a powerful, intimate, sumptuous delight in which the orchestra enhances the innate grandeur of Antony's music.
  3. 90
    The compositions, the choice of songs, the sequencing, his spoken word--the entire package--is a firm reminder of the immense talent Antony is; Cut the World remains another worthy release to take hold of.
  4. Dec 14, 2012
    90
    It's one of the best live albums released by a modern "mainstream" act that I can think of. No exaggeration.
  5. Dec 14, 2012
    90
    What Antony and the Johnsons' music attains is that rare moment after the pain and hurt and abuse and ridicule and resentment and exclusion begins to fade and you yearn for someone to love you without exception and unconditionally.
  6. Dec 14, 2012
    90
    Cut the World is easily the most revealing Antony and the Johnsons album to date, joining material from various recordings in one extended, sublime document.
  7. Cut the World is compelling enough to change the way we appreciate the world and its sad beauty. There's simply nothing that sounds quite like this.
  8. Dec 14, 2012
    84
    There was always a sense that, if given wings, the songs would soar to empyrean reaches. And this live, symphonic recording with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra bears that out to dazzling and devastating effect.
  9. Dec 14, 2012
    83
    The 12 tracks place Antony in an exposed and elegant state: away from the studio, under the lights of a concert hall, and engulfed in harmonies. On that stage, he soars.
  10. Dec 14, 2012
    81
    A compact reminder of the overwhelming force carried by Antony's best music.
  11. Mojo
    Dec 14, 2012
    80
    The four songs drawn from eco-themed album The Crying Light gain particular vitality.... The other major beneficiaries of Muhly and co.'s top notch orchestral work art Antony's earliest songs. [Aug 2012, p.82]
  12. Uncut
    Dec 14, 2012
    80
    Cut The World blow Hegarty's songs to grander scales. [Sep 2012, p.73]
  13. Dec 14, 2012
    80
    It's appealingly uncompromising and right on the border between lucidity and madness.
  14. Dec 14, 2012
    80
    While you might be tempted to skip it, spending some time trying to absorb what he's getting at gives you a much richer context in which to appreciate his songwriting.
  15. Dec 14, 2012
    80
    An album of stirring highs and deeply intimate confessions takes the traditional live album to a new level.
  16. Dec 14, 2012
    80
    Maybe some of the subtlety of the original is lost in the symphonic throb of this new arrangement but it's still a stunning, gleaming celebration of endurance and life even in the midst of bruises and hurt.
  17. 80
    Hegarty's songs and personality suit the drama of orchestral arrangements, providing him with the perfect platform to 'perform' rather than sing--and his voice works in perfect harmony with the 42 musicians behind him.
  18. The orchestra's work is subtle and supportive rather than flashy, allowing free rein to that astonishing voice.
  19. Magnet
    Dec 14, 2012
    75
    The real draws here are the stunning fresh takes on some of the finest works to be found in the Antony & The Johnsons catalog. [No.90, p.52]
  20. The Wire
    Dec 14, 2012
    70
    Hegarty's eco-femism finds a much better ambassador in his songs. [Oct 2012, p.58]
  21. Dec 14, 2012
    70
    Cut the World isn't a major new statement from Antony Hegarty, since only one of its 11 songs are new and he's no stranger to using string arrangements. But the material is mostly the cream of his four studio albums.
  22. Dec 14, 2012
    70
    Cut the World, on musical merit alone, is a solid live recording, one that reminds us of the highlights of Antony Hegarty's career up to now, and hints at future success.
  23. Dec 14, 2012
    70
    Perhaps to some, the lack of a slow, methodical musical structure surrounding these thoughts, or the fact that in spelling his concerns out through conversation instead of veiled insinuation, he notably drops that perilous, outside-of-sane tremolo, might pull the curtains down around his highly cultivated dramaturgy. Only partially.... The rest of the album is more comparatively straightforward.
  24. Dec 14, 2012
    70
    A beautiful diversion then, rather than an eye-opening reboot or soul-stirring call to arms.
  25. 70
    Ultimately, Cut the World is a successful experiment.
  26. Dec 14, 2012
    70
    Cut the World may not be essential Antony and the Johnsons, but it's a recapitulant compilation of some of their strongest songs, in some of their strongest iterations, while presenting stimulating ideas for reconsidering their music and our own planet.
  27. Dec 14, 2012
    65
    Each song feels like a peek into Antony's most intimate inner monologue-swaddled in poetry of the highest order. That is, until the album is stopped dead in its tracks by "Future Feminism."
  28. Q Magazine
    Dec 14, 2012
    60
    A curious document, but one that serves as a reminder of Hegarty's ability to catch the light live. [Sep 2012, p.97]
  29. Dec 14, 2012
    60
    Whilst Hegarty's extended speech in 'Future Feminism' fails to grasp wholly, (but will probably fill a void in your pseudo-intellectual appetite), the collection as a whole is an impressively captivating soundscape.
  30. 60
    Elsewhere, these grand new performances with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra serve to pinion some songs too fixedly.
  31. Dec 14, 2012
    60
    Cut the World reprises 10 of his old songs, adds one new one (the title track) and Future Feminism, which is the kind of thing that will either get you punching the air as you did at Danny Boyle's Olympics opening ceremony, or crossing your legs and muttering about distrusting gender absolutes.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Apr 6, 2015
    7
    For the most part this is really good and delivers proof of the acts' ability to deliver their unique style in an equally impressive manner inFor the most part this is really good and delivers proof of the acts' ability to deliver their unique style in an equally impressive manner in a live setting. "Kiss My Name", one of my favourite A and the J's tracks is a highlight and sounds as good as ever here. Unfortunately the inclusion of the 7 minute "Future Feminism" (7 MINUTES!!) is a major downside. Some will say its brave, especially putting it in so early at track 2. I saw it is arrogant, superfluous and above all, boring. I always hate spoken word tracks on live albums anyway but this takes the cake and has no place on an otherwise excellent live album. Full Review »