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Antony and the Johnsons' "Swanlights"
On its face, melancholy warbler Antony collaborating with Bjork is intriguing on its own.
But pair that up with "a 144-page hard cover book containing Antony’s paintings, collages, photography and writing," and now you're really cooking with oil. The work promises to weave the album's lush, cinematic material with the "forlorn romanticism" of the pages, to help complete the listeners' vision of this complicated character.
"In some pieces, the artist draws together fragments of the past, the present and the future to create a ghostly sense of omniscience," reads a release. "One image features a portrait of the artist with his great grandmother’s face projected upon his own, creating a ricochet through time and genealogy. Found images of natural landscapes are stained with scrawls of ink, indicating invisible presence and movement..."
And so forth. "Swanlights" is the follow-up to the Mercury Prize winner's deliciously dramatic 2009 album "The Crying Light." Bjork -- who appropriately and effectively tapped Antony for her "Volta" song "The Dull Flame of Desire" -- will sing on the track "Flétta."
And, if you never have before, check out his take on Beyonce's "Crazy in Love."