Antony Hegarty's quavering falsetto is an "acquired taste," said Will Hermes in Rolling Stone. But those familiar with the gender-defying darling of dark cabaret know his “strange and marvelous instrument” has long been the bedrock of Antony & the Johnsons. The Crying Light, the third record from the New York band, not only spotlights Hegarty’s haunting vocals but also upholds his “dark vision.” A stirring, at times bittersweet reflection on life, nature and the foundering world, the album “never skimps on beauty.”
And “Hegarty’s command has never been greater,” said Spencer Kornhaber in Spin. The album opens with the aching “Her Eyes are Underneath the Ground;” its first fragile notes “quivering and clinging like a spider in a wind-buffeted web.” The delicate restraint Hegarty shows on “Another World” and “Everglade” only compounds the emotional heft of Nico Muhly’s baroque arrangements. Much like his best work, it is the “human frailty in Hegarty’s velvety, otherworldly bay” found here that makes The Crying Light so devastating.