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I Am a Bird Now

I Am a Bird Now

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I Am a Bird Now is the second album by New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 band Antony and the Johnsons
Antony and the Johnsons
Antony and the Johnsons is a music group presenting the work of Antony Hegarty and his collaborators.-Career:British experimental musician David Tibet of Current 93 heard a demo and offered to release Antony's music through his Durtro label. The debut album, Antony and the Johnsons, was released...

. It won the Mercury Music Prize on September 6, 2005. After winning the prize, the album shot up the UK albums chart from #135 to #16 in one week, the biggest jump in the history of the Mercury Music Prize. It had originally peaked at #78.

The album features guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...

 ("What Can I Do?"), Devendra Banhart
Devendra Banhart
Devendra Obi Banhart is a singer-songwriter and visual artist. Banhart was born in Houston, Texas and was raised by his mother in Venezuela, until he moved to California as a teenager. He began to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998, but dropped out to perform music in Europe, San...

, Joan Wasser
Joan Wasser
Joan Wasser is a violinist and singer/songwriter in the indie rock world. She began her career playing violin with the Dambuilders. She has released three albums as a singer songwriter, the 2006 Real Life the 2008 To Survive and the 2011 The Deep Field...

 and by lead singer Antony Hegarty
Antony Hegarty
Antony Hegarty is an English singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons.-Early life:...

's childhood heroes Boy George
Boy George
Boy George is a British singer-songwriter who was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the early 1980s. He helped give androgyny an international stage with the success of Culture Club during the 1980s. His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, which is influenced by...

 and Lou Reed
Lou Reed
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades...

. The cover is a photograph by Peter Hujar
Peter Hujar
Peter Hujar was an American photographer known for his black and white portraits. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, United States. Hujar later moved to Manhattan to work in the magazine, advertising, and fashion industries. His subjects also consisted of farm animals and nudes...

 of Warhol Superstar
Warhol superstar
Warhol superstars were a clique of New York City personalities promoted by Andy Warhol during the 1960s and early 1970s. These personalities appeared in Warhol's artworks and accompanied him in his social life...

 Candy Darling
Candy Darling
Candy Darling was an American actress, best known as a Warhol Superstar. A male-to-female transsexual, she starred in Andy Warhol's films Flesh and Women in Revolt , and was a muse of the protopunk band The Velvet Underground.-Early life:Candy Darling was born James Lawrence Slattery in Forest...

 on her deathbed (aptly titled "Candy Darling on Her Deathbed").

Track listing



Antony and the Johnsons

  • Antony Hegarty
    Antony Hegarty
    Antony Hegarty is an English singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons.-Early life:...

     – organ
    Organ (music)
    The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

    , piano, vocals
  • Julia Kent
    Julia Kent
    Julia Kent is a New York City-based, Canadian-born cellist who is best known as an original member of the all-cello group Rasputina, and later on as a member of Antony and the Johnsons....

     – cello
    Cello
    The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

  • Parker Kindred
    Parker Kindred
    Parker Kindred is an American drummer who played in the band of Jeff Buckley, appearing on his unfinished second album, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk in 1997, as well as playing live with Buckley and the rest of his band at Arlene's Grocery on February 9, 1997...

     - drums (Track 7)
  • Jeff Longston – bass
    Bass (instrument)
    Bass describes musical instruments that produce tones in the low-pitched range. They belong to different families of instruments and can cover a wide range of musical roles...

  • Maxim Moston – violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

  • Doug Wieselman – saxophone
    Saxophone
    The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...


Additional personnel

  • Devendra Banhart
    Devendra Banhart
    Devendra Obi Banhart is a singer-songwriter and visual artist. Banhart was born in Houston, Texas and was raised by his mother in Venezuela, until he moved to California as a teenager. He began to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998, but dropped out to perform music in Europe, San...

     – guitar
    Guitar
    The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

     (Track 5), vocals
    Singing
    Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

     (Track 8)
  • Steve Bernstein – horn
    Horn (instrument)
    The horn is a brass instrument consisting of about of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. A musician who plays the horn is called a horn player ....

  • John Bollinger - drum
    Drum
    The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

    s (Track 5)
  • Keith Bonner - flute
    Flute
    The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

  • Boy George
    Boy George
    Boy George is a British singer-songwriter who was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the early 1980s. He helped give androgyny an international stage with the success of Culture Club during the 1980s. His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, which is influenced by...

     – vocals (Track 5)
  • Todd Cohen – drums
  • Danielle Farina - viola
    Viola
    The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

     (Tracks 2,9)
  • Jason Hart – piano
    Piano
    The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

     (Track 6)
  • Rainy Orteca - bass (Track 7)
  • Lou Reed
    Lou Reed
    Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades...

     – guitar and vocals (Track 7)
  • Paul Shapiro
    Paul Shapiro
    Paul Shapiro is the Humane Society of the United States' senior director of its .He directs an effort to convince retailers, food service providers, and universities to end their use of eggs from caged birds and expand their vegan options...

     – horn
  • Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...

     – vocals (Track 6)
  • Joan Wasser
    Joan Wasser
    Joan Wasser is a violinist and singer/songwriter in the indie rock world. She began her career playing violin with the Dambuilders. She has released three albums as a singer songwriter, the 2006 Real Life the 2008 To Survive and the 2011 The Deep Field...

     – viola
  • Julia Yasuda - Morse Code
    Morse code
    Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

    , vocals (Track 9)
  • Emery Dobyns
    Emery Dobyns
    Emery Dobyns is an American record producer, engineer mixer and songwriter, based in Manhattan in New York City.Dobyns has recorded and mixed for the likes of Patti Smith, Antony & The Johnsons and Battles. More recently, he has produced, recorded and mixed albums by Noah & The Whale, Travis, Mt....

     - Engineer and mixer.

Reception



I Am a Bird Now received very positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

, the album has a score of 88 out of 100, indicating "Universal acclaim."

Drowned in Sound
Drowned in Sound
DrownedinSound.com or DiS is a UK based music webzine financed by artist management company Silentway . The site is an editorially independent music website.-History:...

's Anthony Gibbons gave the album a score of 10/10, writing "It’s not an exaggeration. This isn’t hype. I Am A Bird Now is a beautiful, emotive, glorious, and sometimes sinister album that will top many a critic's list come the end-of-year polls, and justifiably so." Tiny Mix Tapes
Tiny Mix Tapes
Tiny Mix Tapes is an online music and film webzine that focuses primarily on new music and related news. In addition to its reviews, it is noted for its subversive, political, and sometimes surreal news, as well as its mix tapes generator.-History:Originally called Tiny Mixtapes Gone to Heaven and...

 also gave the album a perfect score, writing "This music grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go. It feels timeless and gorgeous and bigger than life. It may not be 'soul' in the strict, music appreciation 101 sense, but it could make even the most jaded atheist approach a metaphysical regard... I'd put on my critic's cap and dive into scrutiny, but I am too enraptured by this artist's music." Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media, usually known simply as Pitchfork or P4k, is a Chicago-based daily Internet publication established in 1995 that is devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. Its focus is on underground and independent music, especially indie rock...

's Brandon Stosuy praised the vocals, writing "The ultimate draw is Antony's voice, and within the first two seconds of the album, it should be very clear to even the most unaware newbies that Antony has an amazing Nina Simone
Nina Simone
Eunice Kathleen Waymon , better known by her stage name Nina Simone , was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music...

/Brian Ferry/Jimmy Scott
Jimmy Scott
Jimmy Scott , aka "Little" Jimmy Scott, is an American jazz vocalist famous for his unusually high contralto voice which is due to Kallmann's syndrome, a very rare genetic condition. The condition stunted his growth at four feet eleven inches until, at age 37, he grew another 8 inches to the...

 vibrato, a multi-octave siren that would sound painfully lovely no matter what he was saying."

Robert Christgau
Robert Christgau
Robert Christgau is an American essayist, music journalist, and self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics".One of the earliest professional rock critics, Christgau is known for his terse capsule reviews, published since 1969 in his Consumer Guide columns...

, on the other hand, gave the album a "Dud of the Month" designation. Christgau wrote: "Not only is his [Hegarty] willingness to express emotion commoner than indie denizens imagine, his failure to undercut that emotion with irony or humor is a spiritual weakness."

The album has appeared on several end of year lists. Mojo
Mojo (magazine)
MOJO is a popular music magazine published initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer, monthly in the United Kingdom. Following the success of the magazine Q, publishers Emap were looking for a title which would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music...

 named I Am a Bird Now the best album of 2005. Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media, usually known simply as Pitchfork or P4k, is a Chicago-based daily Internet publication established in 1995 that is devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. Its focus is on underground and independent music, especially indie rock...

 ranked the album #5 on its list of the top 50 albums of 2005. On the same website, the track "Hope There's Someone
Hope There's Someone
Hope There's Someone is a three-track CD EP by Antony and the Johnsons, released in 2005 on Rough Trade via Secretly Canadian Records. The title track is lifted from Antony and the Johnsons second studio album I Am a Bird Now with both "Frankenstein" and "Just One Star" being previously unreleased...

" was ranked #28 on their list of the Top 500 Songs of the 2000's and was selected as 2005's best single.

Album

Chart (2005) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

16
Austrian Album Charts 71
Belgium Album Charts 16
Danish Album Charts 38
French Album Charts 45
Netherland Album Charts 58
Norwegian VG-lista
VG-lista
VG-listen is a Norwegian record chart. It is weekly presented in the newspaper VG and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation program Topp 20. It is considered the primary Norwegian record chart, charting albums and singles from countries and continent around the world. The data is collected by...

4
Swedish Album Charts 22

Singles

Year Song Peak positions
UK
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...


2005 "Hope There's Someone
Hope There's Someone
Hope There's Someone is a three-track CD EP by Antony and the Johnsons, released in 2005 on Rough Trade via Secretly Canadian Records. The title track is lifted from Antony and the Johnsons second studio album I Am a Bird Now with both "Frankenstein" and "Just One Star" being previously unreleased...

"
44
2005 "You Are My Sister
You Are My Sister
You Are My Sister is a four-track CD EP by Antony and the Johnsons, originally released in 2005 on Secretly Canadian Records and later in the UK and Europe by Rough Trade Records. The title track is taken from Antony and the Johnsons second studio album I Am a Bird Now and features co-lead vocals...

"
39

External links