This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

I Am a Bird Now

Antony and the Johnsons

2005

Buy At Rough Trade
I Am a Bird Now
Album Summary

I Am a Bird Now is the second album by New York City band Antony and the Johnsons. It won the Mercury 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. As of September 2011, UK sales stood at 220,000 copies.The album features guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright ("What Can I Do?"), Devendra Banhart, Joan Wasser and by lead singer Anohni's childhood heroes Boy George and Lou Reed. The cover is a photograph by Peter Hujar of Warhol superstar Candy Darling on her deathbed (aptly titled "Candy Darling on Her Deathbed").

Wikipedia

Rating

2.89

Votes

11110

Genres

  • Pop

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Fri Jul 15 2022
1

Seriously I don't even understand what this list is anymore, if I did in the first place. Why is this album there, what is it about this that I need to listen to. In terms of music, we'll if you like a bloke gargling white spirit whilst singing about his flip flops being made from paste this is for you. One piano note rolls out every 4 bars to be dramatic, I guess. This album is like being made to cut the lawn with a pair of blunt scissors whilst birds peck at you and the cat can't even be bothered to piss on you, she has such contempt in her eyes.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 29 2022
2

1001 vibratos to listen to before you die. The vibrato was so distracting I didn't get much else out of this album. The background music was nice but overpowered by VIBRATOOOOOOOOO.

👍
View Author
Sat Dec 18 2021
1

he's got such an annoying voice. i didn't get it the first time round and i still don't get it now. nice music but gets ruined by him warbling over the top.

👍
View Author
Sat Dec 18 2021
3

I don't think you're supposed to call him Antony anymore. Who knew that 'I am a bird now' would take on such significance?

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 06 2023
2

I hate the vibrato. I'm sorry, but the vocal performance here is just not for me, to an extent that it renders most of the album a chore, if not a pain, to listen to. Another example of where instrumentals only would be preferable. It's also a bit too bleak in terms of lyricism for me, but definitely not bad. Some cool guest features I'll concede. 05/04/23

👍
View Author
Tue Dec 21 2021
5

For the record, nothing about this looked appealing to me ahead of time. Couldn’t have been more surprised to hear the beauty woven throughout the album. Anohni’s hauntingly powerful vibrato vocals shine as the music seems to dynamically flow from her singing. Loved nearly every song and noticed how the compositional style remains simple and elegant yet has surprising and unexpected turns whenever you think you have it figured out. Lou Reed sits in as a bonus.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 14 2022
5

I was NOT expecting this. This music felt so personal, like reading someone's diary. They have a unique viewpoint of a trans life. His voice and style remind me of a mix between Nina Simone and Devendra Banhart. The instrumentals felt expansive and had a live-sounding quality. Beautiful. Unique.

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 13 2022
4

Depressing album, but in a good way, we need albums with real emotion. Great vocals, especially the vibrato, the difference between the upper and lower register singing sounded like two different singers. Really interesting.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 30 2021
2

It has some interesting moments here and there. The last minute of Hope There's Someone and the cameos from Lou Reed and Boy George for instance. Despite the songs being pretty straight forward with little variation musically, it has beautiful piano and strings throughout. It's also has some meaningful lyrics regarding ANHONI's life and transition, plus longing for someone. I can truely understand why this is on the list and how it has touched many hearts, but I just cannot stand the vocals and that alone was too distracting to enjoy this. Mad respect for her creating meaningful art that has touched many, but it's simply not my cup of tea.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 15 2022
1

The kind of self indulgent warbling that apparently qualifies as music. I initially thought his voice was interesting but by the third track it just grated on me. And the songwriting is really dull. Boring and annoying is not a good combination. At 35 minutes it was 25 minutes too long.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 05 2022
2

I really can't stand this person's voice. The songs are pretty and tender, but the voice ruins it for me.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 29 2022
1

Listening to this was almost as bad as nails on a chalkboard.

👍
View Author
Sun Oct 23 2022
1

You don't sound like a bird, you sound like a frigging kettle.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 13 2023
1

Absolutely hate the continually forced vibrato vocals which makes the whole thing a chore to listen to. Musically it's very one dimensional too.

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 20 2021
5

16 years later and this album still leaves me speechless. I have no speech. I am without speech.

👍
View Author
Sun Jul 31 2022
5

Wow! First album in here, that I didn't know at all, and then got transfixed by! I am (almost) speechless. This album is labelled as baroque/art pop. Well, if this genre is supposed to sound like this, then sign me in! Songs on this album have two layers. The first one, is a usually slow and rather melancholic, but beautiful melody, played on piano with plenty of string instruments. The second one is an incredibly rare and forceful voive of singer, Anhoni. And the song that shows that combinations better than anything else, is 'Hope there's someone'. If the only goal of listening to 1001 albums would be to hear this song for the first time, it is well worth it. Whole album is a very beautiful journey, that has been plaing in the background for the last day, and will be played for a long time since. Bravo!

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 02 2022
5

Well, wasn't expecting that. Very sparse but with big performances, especially vocally. I don't think you can miss what the subject matter is, and I think vocally Anohni just nails the right mix of vulerable and strong. It may have not been created for me (as a straight cis guy), but I'm very happy it's here. Favorite tracks: "Bird Gehrl", "You Are My Sister", "Fistful of Love"

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 14 2022
4

Such a beautifully haunting album.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 24 2022
4

lush - dreamy, yearning, songs of transition

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 18 2022
2

It seems the artist tried to make some ~deep~ songs, but they turned out really boring.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 23 2023
1

If you like warbling this will be right up your alley. I don't.... it's irritating and awful !!

👍
View Author
Wed May 24 2023
1

Really annoying voice with way too much vibrato. The only song I really enjoyed featured a guest artist. Some of the backing stuff is interesting, but I can’t get past the vocals.

👍
View Author
Sun Dec 12 2021
3

So emotional & melancholy. I like the genre description Baroque Pop.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 06 2022
3

If this guy was in the piano lounge I would definitely wait until the set was finished

👍
View Author
Mon Sep 19 2022
2

One's enjoyment of this i think will live or die based on what they think of the vocals. Musically i really enjoyed what was going on here but that vibrato reaches levels of comical where i had to stop listening cause i couldn't take it seriously. Most notably on the tracks where they layer the vocals so you have double the vibrato making an almost white noise of incomprehensible warbling. That said, the tracks where the vibrato is toned down and especially the ones with guest vocalists are exceptionally pretty and are the only reason i am giving this a 2 instead of a 1.

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 06 2022
2

I tried, I really did. Everyone raves about the voice. It's more grating than interesting.

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 21 2022
2

The melodies are nice, but this singing voice is driving me a little crazy. Can vibrato drive a person crazy? I think it can. Three songs in now and damn, seriously, leEeEeEet UuUuUup on the vibratoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo. So then I thought "Well maybe if I see the guy singing, maybe that will help. It'll put the voice in context and it'll make sense to me." NOPE When Wainwright shows up later on, everything feels right. I can't do this much vibrato, I'm sorry. Vibra-no.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 29 2022
2

A lot of the other reviews have said it as well, but the vibrato was just too much. I like the idea of it in a way, it's at least unique in an age when most pop singers sound identical, but the end result came across as too dramatic and full of itself. 2/5.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 06 2023
2

As you begin to notice how lovely and moving the piano is you can't help but notice it has no effect on you simply because some guy had to do a falsetto for the entire run of the album.

👍
View Author
Fri May 12 2023
1

The music is alright but the singing is just dreadful. The songs could be alright with a new singer.

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 20 2022
5

Great Misconduct At Home, Just Wrote Saf7a Bark Men 3l Bouheli Mte3 Dostoevsky 3al Album He4a

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 24 2022
5

I wasn't convinced I was going to like this after the first track, it sounded a bit unfinished, like a demo or something. But as I got into it I realised that this just works, and ended up enjoying it a lot.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 07 2022
5

Forgot how much I liked this album!

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Incredible record!! Loved it. The voice and emotions are so powerful! I am not so found of the guest voices as the main voice is so freaking nice. 4.5/5

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Haunting, somber, achingly beautiful, and powerful.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 30 2022
5

I think I only knew Hope There's Someone before which is a real stunner!! But 100% untapped love for me in the rest of the album. My GOD the feeling and raw almost diary entry poetry on this album. It made me cry. I'm so so glad this album was written and put together by Anohni because it's a true gift to the world. The vocals and the ochestral sounding expansive instrumentation on tracks like Spiralling... wow. Every piece/part/instrument/vocal adds so much to every track too. A genius piece of work. PS I love the marmite vocals, they portray so much authentic feeling and they're certainly not overdone in my opinion. There are some parts where the vocal is completely pure and straight forward and that contrast is delish. Wonderful stuff! What a journey.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 07 2022
5

I don't think I ever truly enjoyed the (main) vocals 100% but I sure as hell could appreciate it. It's quite emotive, and while the vibrato is a bit quicker than I usually prefer, it worked for the music. And the music? Beautiful. It's a very tough call to make because the vocals were still my least favorite part of it all, but I have to give this a 5 because of all the parts coming together perfectly.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 13 2022
5

Really glad to hear this - I had listened to some Anohni in the past and loved it, but forgot about it. Now have listened to everything from both

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 15 2022
5

Where was I in 2005 that I didn't know about this album or this band? For today, I think this is a little bit exaggerated on the sad environment, but it looks perfect for the 15 years old me.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 07 2023
5

i went into this thinking it would be a boring indie rock album based exclusively on the cover and i am very glad that i was wrong. i'm definitely happy i checked this out and i'm very interested in checking out anohni's solo work.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 18 2023
5

Never heard of this band or album. Blown away. Great listen that I will return to. Chamber pop.

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 05 2023
5

This album was very interesting, I'm still not exactly sure where I stand on it. However, it felt good to sit through as it comes from the perspective of someone who paints a grief filled picture of what it's like to be transgender. And I think it's a very necessary one to listen to in the current climate. It makes me realize that 2005 wasn't very long ago and we still very much are dealing with the same mindset about some things. You can very clearly hear the pain in Anohi's voice and while it might not be technically perfect, she still gets the point through. I've never heard an album that so blatantly talks about being trans, especially not one from 18 years ago. As sad as it starts, and the heavy topics it deals with, the album does end on a happy note. As our protagonist is no longer dealing with the things tying her down, whether that be the body she was born in or an abusive relationship. It serves as a reminder that there is a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 10 2023
5

What a beautiful album. Such strong opening track too. You can feel the rawness and emotions in most of these. I found “For Today I Am A Boy” very powerful, especially after reading up a bit about the band. Saved songs: Hope There’s Someone, For Today I Am A Boy, Spiralling

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 19 2023
5

Haunting; full of pain, pleasure, and beauty. I think Anhoni may have been my first exposure to a trans person. I discovered this album shortly after it came out and was completely captivated by it. Still love it today. I think it has aged very well!

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 27 2023
5

Simply one of the most beautiful albums ever.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 31 2023
5

The production, features, songwriting, incredible vocals, all of it comes together to form a perfect little window of intimacy into someone's personal struggles.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 05 2023
5

Pop barroco. Me flipa la voz. Vinilo.

👍
View Author
Wed May 31 2023
5

Quite absurd, like why is there flying burgers, but I love it

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 20 2023
5

Fantastic, beautiful, loved it

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 24 2023
5

I first heard this a year or so ago when listening to previous Mercury Prize winners and thought it was absolutely gorgeous. Relistening has made me appreciate it even more - it’s just such a tender and affecting record

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 27 2023
5

This blew me away. Anohni’s deeply soulful musings on her sexuality is insanely impactful to hear and I am grateful of this website for giving me the opportunity to hear it.

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 01 2023
5

Pop barroco. Me flipa la voz. Vinilo.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 12 2023
5

I'd never heard the music of Anohni and the Johnsons before, but it took approximately 30 seconds to be completely spellbound by this album. Anohni's voice is perhaps the most emotionally affecting I've ever heard. Every second is beautiful and somehow makes you feel feelings. The opening and closing tracks, 'Hope There's Someone' and 'Bird Guhl' (and the opening and closing lines within them) bookend the album perfectly, acting as the start and conclusion of an intensely personal story. In between, 'For Today I Am A Boy' spells out the theme of the album and 'You Are My Sister' had me welling up. Rating: 5/5 Playlist track: Fistful Of Love Date listened: 11/08/23

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 14 2023
5

As I settled into my seat in the bus for a 6-hour ride, I started this album. By about 5 tracks in, I was bored and ready for the album to be over. Then over the next few tracks the beauty of this album reached in and started squeezing my heart to the point that I was (unsuccessfully) fighting back the tears. I couldn’t wait for it to end…so that I could start it over! Maybe it was bus magic, but I fell in love with this one!

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 14 2023
5

Having never listened to this before, lead singer Anohni's voice was a bit of a shock at first. I wasn't sure I was going to take it. Soon I began to embrace the uniqueness of it as it was sung over such beautiful music and expressing such feelings. And what a collection of interesting guest voices to add to the mix! I don't imagine that I'll listen to this all of the time, but listening to it was indeed quite a special experience.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 16 2023
5

Such simple but extraordinary concepts expressed so beautifully with such an arresting voice. This album hit me emotionally harder than any before. Anohni is truly amazing.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 15 2023
5

Immediate 5 star album. The best.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 05 2023
5

definetely 5 that voice........

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 19 2023
5

A beautiful voice, recalling the talent of Nina Simone, and a lyrical story rarely heard in popular music. ANOHNI is a very rare talent. It was a nice surprise to hear Lou Reed on this album. Fistful of Love is definitely a highlight.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 16 2023
5

This rules, I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Sufjan Stevens lately and this has a similar emotional heft and haunting sound to it that I really love.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 21 2023
5

Surprisingly nice to listen to - amazing piano and string arrangements

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 07 2024
5

Todas las canciones son impresionantes. No sobra nada.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Beautiful emotional album love it

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 19 2024
5

The most stand-out aspect of this album to me is the very unique voice of the singer which enhances the extremely sorrowful and sad tone of the album. There are heavy themes of death, identity, and the want to escape. The soft and sad piano ballads might be boring in another context, but the haunting nature really brings a huge amount of intrigue to the experience.

👍
View Author
Tue Jan 23 2024
5

Mágico, el piano envuelve todas las melodías y la voz es magnífica. Romántico en el más amplio sentido de la palabra. Imprescindible. Belleza y paz serían buenas palabra para definirlo.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 01 2024
5

I definitely wasn’t sure I’d come across an album I truly fell in love with on this list but wow. This is totally my taste in music, added to my playlists. The lyrics, the timbre of her voice, the instrumentals. The amazing features. Love

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 19 2024
5

I had the most intense experience listening to this album that an album has put me through in a long time. At the beginning I was struggling to find something to latch on to, but by the time it ended I was so into it I immediately played it again, like the kid who survives the roller coaster and after disembarking sprints to get in line to ride again. However, as amazing as it was, I have a funny feeling I may never listen to this album again.

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 19 2024
5

This is what I want from this project. Something I never would have listened to otherwise, but was still beautiful in many ways.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 08 2024
5

fuck isch da schön hahahaha hope there's someone würdi am liebste brüelle oke klavier nochli am gäse geh alsooo wie gseit huere schön aber wenns so wiitergaht find ichs vlt iwenn chli langwilig :( OHH UND ES CHÖMMED STRIICHER es isch so fucking schön chans gar nöd handle hahahah au you are my sister isch viiill zu schön omg ich bin doch nöd im mentale zuestand zum das chönne handle fuck it da isch e füfi weiss nöd wenn ichs letscht mal vo musig usserhalb vo mim normale musiggschmack so berüehrt worde bin

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 08 2024
5

Awesome album . No skips . I loved it so much . Especially how the songs just start of nice with an underlying piano instrumental and some vocals and gradually increase the energy and the instrumentalism . Probably one of my favorite records so far from this list

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 29 2024
5

Fantastic voice! Sounds like if Tiny Tim and Sampha had a love child. Incredible. Did not know what to expect but someone said it sounds like you’re reading someone’s diary and that fits it perfectly. Cover for the album is so sick too (no pun intended).

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 29 2024
5

When this won the Mercury I was horrified. Since then I've grown to realise I was wrong. This is a work of fragile beauty in a brutal uncaring universe.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 04 2024
5

This stunning piece of art came to me upon its release in 2005. Antony’s voice is both delicate and powerful. “Fistful of Love” is easily one of my all time favorite songs. Antony’s wild emotion in the last minute of the song always wrecks me. The emotional “Spiralling” follows and the tears flow hard. The message behind this album is captured powerfully in its cover: Candy Darling, legendary Andy Warhol actress, on her death bed in 1974 from cancer caused by experimental hormone shots to transition physically from male to female. She lived her truth out loud, to death, with grace, dignity and strength. Candy had more courage in her pinky fingernail than most people can muster up over lifetimes. She may have died young, but she won the test of life in every way possible. Every song on this perfect record is about the joys and heartbreak of the queer experience and rising high within that glorious colorful light. It brings tears to my eyes every single time. Easy 5+ stars and definitive top 3 albums of the 2000’s, and top 10 albums of all time for me.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 08 2024
5

With sheer elegance and never-ending beauty, I Am a Bird Now is the detailing of the former Antony (with the Johnsons) unfurling to become what she was meant to be. Having faced with death (the ailing Candy Darling posing with grace on the hospital bed), we become accustomed to what was seemingly a fleeting series of songs that become tethered upon further listening and a home stretch that knocks everything out of the park towards the end. For those who come across it for the first time, they might not know what will come to them but eventually they'll see that this is a kind of musical experience that doesn't come every now and then; a effortless fusion of soul, classical, folk and anything in between. It will serenade the listener towards submission.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 22 2024
5

An unbelievably beautiful album. I've never heard anything like it, and most likely never will again. One of the most enchanting sounds I've heard.

👍
View Author
Fri May 03 2024
5

A beautiful bummer. The kind of raw honesty and emotion that makes you go “I hope things worked out for this person”. Loved it

👍
View Author
Wed May 15 2024
5

Absolutely beautiful. What a find

👍
View Author
Thu May 30 2024
5

Nice to have at least one truly great album from the 00s.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 05 2024
5

There's something about this album that is touching and truly moving. ANOHNI's voice is such a rare and precious thing - and hearing this album for the first time back in 2006, I was enraptured. I find some of the album to be a little strange and fractured, but the whole creates a sense of yearning that I feel is both masterful and necessary. This is the definition of essential listening to me. To top it off, "Hope There's Someone" has stuck with me for almost two decades as one of the most powerful and touching songs I've heard. The fear of being alone, dying alone and unloved, creates such fertile soil for this album to blossom in. It makes putting a score on this album easy - it's a masterpiece.

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 16 2024
5

I was not expecting to like this at all - when it started I instantly thought it would be extremely indulgent and pretentious for no reason and I was more than ready to give it up after the first minute. But I quickly realised that there was a story behind it all, a message of uncertainty and transition that I found extremely moving.

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 20 2021
4

Had high expectations when this album was released, but usually only listen to the three or four stand-out tracks - rest of the songs = three star. I would say 4* is the appropriate rating.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Je m'attendais pas à cette voix, impressionné (4/5 mais 5/5 pour la cover et Lou Reed) Prefs: Hope There's Someone, You Are My Sister, FISTFUL OF LOVE, Spiralling Moins pref: Free At Last

👍
Load more reviews