ANOHNI: HOPELESSNESS (Secretly Canadian) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, November 16th, 2019  

ANOHNI

HOPELESSNESS

Secretly Canadian

May 04, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


There's a sort of giddy anticipation of a collaborative project of artists whose work you like individually for different reasons and whose intersecting creative paths were a complete mystery. Eluding fanfare, singer Antony Hegarty, now taking the name ANOHNI and commonly known from her music made as Antony & The Johnsons, united with two of the more ambitious electronic producers out there to fashion the music for HOPELESSNESS, her first studio album in four years. In unexpected tandem here is the abstract electro-expressionism of Oneohtrix Point Never and the spasmodic superball buoyancy of Hudson Mohawke, forming the landing pad for the ghostly melancholy of ANOHNI's delivery.

ANOHNI was seeking a musical setting a world apart from the operatic jazz-folk of past recordings, where mournful songs would drip down sullen chamber pieces like rain on a window pane. To this end, the three together co-manufacture a fluctuating rhythmical force field to liberate her messages from their former place of quiet resignation.

The experiment is surprisingly rewarding in places where the low-pitch pliancy of ANOHNI's voice finds harmonic correspondence with the pulse of electronic moodscaping. In one turn, nuanced filtering of sonorous sobs are contoured by warping circuits of synth. Then her triumphant bellows follow the trajectory of production when it leaps grandly upward. In such moments, crafty harnessing of ANOHNI's unusual vocal register imbues the production with potency and drama. The problem is that the entirety of HOPELESSNESS isn't convincing as a collective vision, but rather an attempt of co-musicians to land on common ground through contributing individual parts. 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. (www.antonyandthejohnsons.com)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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