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83

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 137 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut solo release for the lead singer of Antony And The Johnsons was produced by Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke.
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Top Track

Obama
When you were elected The world cried for joy We thought we had empowered The truth telling envoy Now the news is you are spying Executing without... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jun 20, 2016
    100
    An extremely compelling, beautifully articulated, bonafide masterpiece.
  2. May 4, 2016
    90
    Hopelessness is her first album under her new name, and with that comes a new clarity and purpose to her songwriting, an ownership and authority over her artistic voice that we've not yet seen before.
  3. Magnet
    Jun 1, 2016
    90
    An epic, potentially epoch-making release. [No. 131, p.53]
  4. May 2, 2016
    80
    Aside from dubstep-resembling "I Don’t Love You Anymore”, a breakup song that doesn’t really mesh within the political context of Hopelessness, there’s hardly any fault to find in Hegarty’s incredibly imaginative portrait of a world that’s in dire need of some reformation.
  5. May 6, 2016
    80
    Though it is not articulated directly, the heart of this record is about the potential for a genuine and communal response to that hopelessness, and about an empowering, defiant joy that can be forged even in the depths of despair. Soundtrack to a soon unceasing summer.
  6. 80
    A bitterly beautiful album.
  7. May 4, 2016
    55
    Some tracks come across like impromptu recording sessions where ANOHNI worked through recently-penned material over production pieces messed around with just before she'd arrived at the studio. Still, there is enough in this unexpected assimilation of talents to hold intrigue.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. May 7, 2016
    10
    Thanks to Bjork for introducing me to Anohni. This album is not just beautiful, but also powerful. I love how she use the anger and turns itThanks to Bjork for introducing me to Anohni. This album is not just beautiful, but also powerful. I love how she use the anger and turns it into something so beautiful. Expand
  2. Oct 24, 2016
    10
    To me, Anohni is more than a singer. Anohni voices the troubles of the 21st century. The disasters we fail to admit happening. 4 Degrees isTo me, Anohni is more than a singer. Anohni voices the troubles of the 21st century. The disasters we fail to admit happening. 4 Degrees is about global warming and how a 4 degrees rise in temperature will be a total disaster. "It's only 4 degrees", with that sarcastic choice of words Anohni wants to wake us up. 'Execution', ironically, is one of the happiest tunes of the album. It really invites you to dance as was Anohni's intention. 'Why did you separate me from this earth?' really resonates with how I currently feel about the earth. In my opinion the title track 'Hopelessness' deserves more attention. 'Hopelessness' does not imply that Anohni has give up on this earth. She merely wants to show us that hopelessness is a state of being that might be needed to put us to action. Expand
  3. Jan 9, 2017
    10
    Anohni's HOPELESSNESS will resonate with the sort of legacy few protest albums have attained, it is the best album of 2016. Plush pop melodiesAnohni's HOPELESSNESS will resonate with the sort of legacy few protest albums have attained, it is the best album of 2016. Plush pop melodies meet abrasive avant-garde electronica, expertly provided by the genre-hopping Hudson Mohawke and the experimentalist Oneohtrix Point Never. HOPELESSNESS constantly rides the line between love song and lament, creating a mirror for the listener to examine their role in a turbulent time, doing so in a way that is truly unique-revolutionary even-in pop.

    Anohni's album is not only politically daring, from an artistic standpoint the album rewards listeners who commit to the full set just as much as those who encounter it track by track. No effective album exists as a mere collection of random songs, and HOPELESSNESS is particularly impressive. The expository material - "Drone Bomb Me," "4 Degrees," "Watch Me," and "Execution" - lays out the album's central themes with painstaking irony, envisioning a grotesque utopian world where Afghan girls beg to be blown to bits by drone bombs, the death penalty is not a national embarrassment (as the only developed nation to still have one) but rather, "it's the American Dream." By not collectively expressing outrage over the NSA scandals, our non-action means that we welcome the constant invasion of our every move - whether it be in our hotel rooms or watching pornography on our personal electronics - as an act of love not a breach of privacy. On the standout "4 Degrees," one of two tracks Anohni, Hudson Mohawke, and Oneohtrix all produced together, a spirited symphonic stampede spells out booming, triumphal brass chords and crisp strings with all the pastoral reverence of the symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, or Sibelius. This seeming rush to embrace nature is met with lyrics, delivered with a passionate zeal, oblivious to the irony of their meaning, celebrating forests ablaze, millions of fish "lying belly up in the sea," and stampedes of wildlife dropping to their death, tossing off as an afterthought, "it's only 4 degrees." It's rise in temperature that will mark the end life for most living species on earth, and we are careening towards it. "4 Degrees" is an anthem among anthem's on HOPELESSNESS, one of the most brilliantly conceived, potently addicting, viciously clever songs ever executed in pop music.

    Turning from Hudson Mohawke's inherent cheer, a trio of harrowing tracks produced by Oneohtrix Point Never constitutes the set's central climax; Anohni steps into the spotlight in a more direct capacity to air out her pointed grievances with a reverential darkness. First up is the funereal hymn "I Don't Love You Anymore," a line Anohni pleads again and again to an unidentified subject, with church organ accompaniment morphing into electrocution waves flashing through water . HOPELESSNESS then hits its bleakest point on its controversial centerpiece, as a plodding trap-like bass descends beneath Anohni, her voice heavily warped in processing, as she speaks with the songs namesake, "Obama," directly, with the stoic spirituality of a religious cantor at an orthodox church, synagogue, or mosque: "When you were elected/The world cried for joy/We thought we had empowered/The truth telling envoy." Moody, dissonant string synths begin to crowd the texture, "Now the news is you are spying/Executing without trial/Betraying virtues/Scarring closed the sky/Punishing the whistle blowers/Those who tell the truth." As the encroaching claustrophobia of sounds rises, Anohni simply repeats "Obama" over and over again. And in the harmonic resolution? "All the hope drained from your face/Like children we believed." Transitioning without pause, a pungi (snake charmers "oboe") brings us to a glitchy, distorted Middle East for "Violent Men," closing out the confessional with Anohni's stance on eco-feminism, believing that to undo the raping of nature through crude methods of procuring fossil fuels, pollution, war, and senseless violence, the violent minded man must relinquish their leadership power to the ecologically-minded peaceful female. As Trump builds his cabinet, Anohni's words are simply magnified in their rage and resonance.

    To balance the perceived ignorance that fills the exposition, allowing these corruptions of freedom and nature into our lives, the second half takes the listener to the aftermath: apologizing to the mothers, children, brothers, and friends who's relatives we killed with drone bombs and executed without trial on "Crisis," likening humans to cancerous cells in their destruction of the earth on the moving title track. What reward to we reap from all of this destruction? The utter desolation of "Marrow" claims, "We are all Americans now...Suck the oil out of her face...Burn her hair, and boil her skin." Hudson Mohawke's typically optimistic spirit is nowhere to be found in an elegiac piano motive that repeats into the fade-out, absolutely hopeless. Nowhere will you find music today that invokes such poignant bravery.
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  4. May 15, 2016
    9
    I've never been so much a fan of Anohni's previous works within Antony and the Johnsons, but Hopelessness among the acclaim it was gettingI've never been so much a fan of Anohni's previous works within Antony and the Johnsons, but Hopelessness among the acclaim it was getting with also its lead single Drone Bomb Me simply..drew me in. What did i uncover? One of the most truthful, emotional, beautiful and maybe even important albums of this year, and maybe the few before that. Expand
  5. May 11, 2016
    9
    A tremendously unusual collaboration between three of the most enigmatic and compelling contemporary artists creates what is for sure the mostA tremendously unusual collaboration between three of the most enigmatic and compelling contemporary artists creates what is for sure the most disgustingly and brutally beautiful political album of the era. Expand
  6. Jun 19, 2016
    9
    Quem começou a se interessar no mundo da “música indie” lé pelo meio dos anos 2000 e pesquisou um pouco além dos Strokes e Arctic Monkeys queQuem começou a se interessar no mundo da “música indie” lé pelo meio dos anos 2000 e pesquisou um pouco além dos Strokes e Arctic Monkeys que dominavam a época deve ter se deparado com Antony and the Johnsons, aclamada banda do período que teve quatro discos lançados.

    Com a produção de Daniel Lopatin do Oneohtrix Point Never e Hudson Mohawke (que já trabalharam com nomes como Nine Inch Nails, Drake e Kanye West) temos uma sonoridade influenciada pela trap music e suas batidas graves e distorcidas características causando uma sensação nova de ouvir uma voz já conhecida por cima de beats eletrônicos, o choque inicial na abertura “Drone Bomb Me” se passa antes mesmo do fim da música. Há uma quebra do que conheciamos e que foi construido minuciosamente ao longo dos anos no trabalho da banda.

    Ainda em parceria com “os Johnsons” mas agora sob o nome Anohni, acompanhamos a transição – literal e figurada de Antony Hegarty – para uma nova faceta de sua vida e de seu trabalho. A melancolia e a tristeza que seus trabalhos anteriores eram mergulhados se transformaram e trouxeram novas visões e propósitos em HOPELESNESS. Vemos uma força e uma autoridade sobre suas composições que não tinha sido vista até então, chegando até a se dirigir ao presidente Obama em uma das faixas.

    O usual confronto interno e letras pessoais agora passam para o mundo externo em forma de indignação com os rumos que o mundo está tomando. Vemos a destruição da natureza, as guerras, a política e, principalmente, a culpa que cabe a nós como quase cúmplices nisso.

    Ainda que toda a atmosfera dream pop que estávamos acostumados esteja presente, HOPELESSNESS apresenta uma nova Anohni, extremamente ferida pelo mundo. A tristeza, a dor estão presentes mas sem se abalar. As forças para denunciar os males da nossa sociedade estão em cada letra, cada nota e cada minimo detalhe desse grandioso disco de protesto.
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  7. Feb 8, 2018
    2
    While Antony Hegarty's career has consisted mostly of crying and whining over beautiful, sparse, and sad piano music, the nearly-naked emperorWhile Antony Hegarty's career has consisted mostly of crying and whining over beautiful, sparse, and sad piano music, the nearly-naked emperor has had a couple of transcendent moments with cover versions, first with Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will", then with Beyonce's "Crazy In Love", which was so amazing that you almost forgot it had the instantly-dated line "hoping you'll page me right now" and that the original had to rip off the Chi-Lites to get any attention. Well, those days are gone, as Antony the awkward man has decided he is now Anohni the awkward woman. Not everything has changed, though - while Anohni is much more political and "woke" now world-wise, she is still crying and whining as if her career depends on it (which is probably true). The big news is that she is now crying over sometimes cinematic but mostly just jarring electronic stabs of music that could possibly be made by pushing three buttons and six keys on an old Fairlight. Melody has never been A's forte, and this hasn't changed either - the "melodies" are small loops with differing vocals. Sometimes repetition drives the point home, but Anohni couldn't be bothered to get around to second verses on most of these tracks, and on the career low "Obama" she basically sings new words each time over the same kind of short four-note musical line that you and your sister used while making up songs about going to the mall or your puppy when you were four. The fervent cult that will probably never get larger will lap this up like it's peach nectar from Trent Reznor's eye socket, because for all the squeaks and squawks and, um, personal changes real or imagined, these vocals and lyrics could be stuck into any Antony and the Johnsons album and sound the same, as Anohni even makes anger sound like sadness. Some would call this comforting familiarity, others just stagnation. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews