I Am a Bird Now

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I Am a Bird Now
Studio album by Antony and the Johnsons
Released February 1, 2005 (2005-02-01)
Genre Baroque pop
Length 35:29
Label Secretly Canadian
Producer Antony Hegarty
Antony and the Johnsons chronology
The Lake
I Am a Bird Now
Hope There's Someone
Singles from I Am a Bird Now
  1. "Hope There's Someone"
    Released: 7 June 2005
  2. "You Are My Sister"
    Released: 25 October 2005

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.[1] As of September 2011, UK sales stand at 220,000 copies.[2]

The album features guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright ("What Can I Do?"), Devendra Banhart, Joan Wasser and by lead singer Antony Hegarty's childhood heroes Boy George and Lou Reed.[3] The cover is a photograph by Peter Hujar of Warhol Superstar Candy Darling on her deathbed (aptly titled "Candy Darling on Her Deathbed").[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Antony Hegarty

No. Title Length
1. "Hope There's Someone"   4:21
2. "My Lady Story"   3:33
3. "For Today I Am a Bouy"   2:36
4. "Man Is the Baby"   4:09
5. "You Are My Sister"   3:59
6. "What Can I Do?"   1:40
7. "Fistful of Love"   5:52
8. "Spiralling"   4:25
9. "Free at Last"   1:36
10. "Bird Gerhl"   3:14


The following people contributed to I Am a Bird Now:[3][4]

Antony and the Johnsons[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
The Guardian 4/5 stars 2005
Pitchfork Media (8.6/10) 2005
Robert Christgau (B-) link
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 2009)
Stylus Magazine (A-) link
Q 4/5 stars April 2005
Drowned In Sound 10/10 stars2005
Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5 stars2005

I Am a Bird Now received very positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 88 out of 100, indicating "Universal acclaim."[5]

Drowned in Sound'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."[6] Tiny Mix Tapes 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."[7] Pitchfork Media'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/Brian Ferry/Jimmy Scott vibrato, a multi-octave siren that would sound painfully lovely no matter what he was saying."[8]

Robert Christgau, on the other hand, gave the album a "Dud of the Month" designation, writing "Those convinced of the metaphoric-political centrality of transgender issues and the AIDS epidemic will feel Antony's songs. Those who don't should find a record they enjoy."[9] Christgau was fired from the Village Voice a few months later for differences in "taste." [10]

The album has appeared on several end of year lists. Mojo named I Am a Bird Now the best album of 2005.[11] Pitchfork Media ranked the album #5 on its list of the top 50 albums of 2005.[12] On the same website, the track "Hope There's Someone" was ranked #28 on their list of the Top 500 Songs of the 2000s and was selected as 2005's best single.[13][14]



Chart (2005) Peak
UK Albums Chart 16[15]
Austrian Album Charts 71[16]
Belgium Album Charts 16[16]
Danish Album Charts 38[16]
French Album Charts 45[16]
Netherland Album Charts 58[16]
Norwegian VG-lista 4[16]
Swedish Album Charts 22[16]


Year Song Peak positions
2005 "Hope There's Someone" 44
2005 "You Are My Sister" 39


  1. ^ Antony & The Johnsons album sales soar. NME. 13 September 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Mercury Prize Winners - The Guardian Google spreadsheet". Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  3. ^ a b Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now. Discogs. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b I Am a Bird Now - Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  5. ^ Critic Reviews for I Am A Bird Now. Metacritic. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  6. ^ Gibbons, Anthony. Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now. Drowned in Sound. 30 May 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  7. ^ Antony & The Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now. Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  8. ^ Stosuy, Brandon. Album Reviews: Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  9. ^ http://www.villagevoice.com/2005-12-27/music/extraordinary-machines/2/ Extraordinary Machines
  10. ^ http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2006/08/robert_christga_1.html
  11. ^ Mojo End Of year Lists. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 3 July 2011
  12. ^ Pitchfork: Staff. Top 50 Albums of 2005. Pitchfork Media. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  13. ^ Pitchfork Staff. The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 50-21. Pitchfork Media. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  14. ^ Pitchfork Staff. Top 50 Singles of 2005. Pitchfork Media. 30 December 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011
  15. ^ a b "ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS - The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "Antony And the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now - australiancharts.com". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 

External links[edit]