The Crying Light

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The Crying Light
Studio album by Antony and the Johnsons
Released 19 January 2009
Genre Baroque pop
Length 39:24
Label Secretly Canadian
Producer Antony
Antony and the Johnsons chronology
I Am a Bird Now
(2005)I Am a Bird Now2005
The Crying Light
Singles from The Crying Light
  1. "Another World"
    Released: 7 October 2008
  2. "Epilepsy Is Dancing"
    Released: 26 April 2009
  3. "Aeon"
    Released: 3 August 2009
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[2]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[3]
Los Angeles Times 4/4 stars[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
Pitchfork Media (8.6/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Spin 3.5/5 stars[8]
The Sunday Times 3/5 stars[9]
Uncut 4/5 stars[10]

The Crying Light is Antony and the Johnsons' third studio album and the follow-up to the band's widely acclaimed second LP, I Am a Bird Now.[11][12] The album was released on 19 January 2009, and preceded by lead single, "Another World", released through Secretly Canadian on 7 October 2008. The Crying Light features orchestral arrangements by Antony and Nico Muhly.[13]

The album was released digitally in advance of the release. Some pre-orders contained an alternate version of "Another World". Pre-orders of the physical album from Antony's official website facilitated a full album download, including bonus track "My Lord My Love", a week prior to the official release.

The album peaked in the Billboard European Top 100 at Number 1.

Antony has described the theme of the album as being "about landscape and the future."[14]

Ann Powers wrote of The Crying Light for the LA Times online, “It's the most personal environmentalist statement possible, making an unforeseen connection between queer culture's identity politics and the green movement. As music, it's simply exquisite – more controlled and considered than anything Antony and the Johnsons have done and sure to linger in the minds of listeners."[15]


In anticipation of The Crying Light, Antony and the Johnsons scheduled 7 symphony concerts in 2008, including at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra and at Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. These concerts were conducted by Jim Holmes and Rob Moose, with scores arranged by Nico Muhly.

Antony and the Johnsons toured throughout North America and Europe in support of The Crying Light between February and June 2009.

Antony then went on to present a unique staging of "The Crying Light" in collaboration with the Manchester Camerata (conducted by Rob Moose) at the Manchester Opera House for the 2009 Manchester International Festival. The concert hall was transformed into a crystal cave constructed by Carl Robertshaw and filled with laser effects created by installation artist Chris Levine in collaboration with lighting designer Paul Normandale.

Antony and the Johnsons have gone on to present concerts with symphonies across Europe in Summer 2009, including with the Opera Orchestra of Lyon, the Metropole Orchestra, Roma Sinfonietta and the Montreux Jazz Festival Orchestra.


The album's cover artwork features a 1977 photograph of butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, by Naoya Ikegami. Antony said of the image: "The Crying Light is dedicated to the great dancer Kazuo Ohno. In performance I watched him cast a circle of light upon the stage, and step into that circle, and reveal the dreams and reveries of his heart. He seemed to dance in the eye of something mysterious and creative; with every gesture he embodied the child and the feminine divine. He's kind of like my art parent." [16]

A music video for the single "Epilepsy Is Dancing" was produced by The Wachowskis and featured Johanna Constantine, SF choreographer Sean Dorsey and the design of painters Tino Rodríguez and Virgo Paraiso.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Antony Hegarty, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground"
2. "Epilepsy Is Dancing"   2:42
3. "One Dove"
4. "Kiss My Name"   2:48
5. "The Crying Light"   3:18
6. "Another World"   4:00
7. "Daylight and the Sun"   6:21
8. "Aeon"   4:35
9. "Dust and Water"   2:50
10. "Everglade"   2:58
Total length: 39:24


Chart (2009) Peak
European Albums Billboard Top 100[17] 1
Belgian Albums Charts (Flanders) 1
Spanish Albums Chart (Promusicae)[18] 2
Sweden Albums Chart[19] 2
Denmark Albums Chart[19] 3
France Albums Chart[17] 4
Netherlands Albums Chart[19] 4
Norway Albums Chart[19] 4
Swiss Albums Chart[19] 7
Italian Albums Chart[19] 9
German Albums Chart 15
UK Album Chart[20] 18
Finnish Albums Chart[20] 23
Australian Albums Chart[19] 33
US Billboard 200[21] 65

In 2009. It was awarded a gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association which indicated sales of at least 100,000 copies throughout Europe. [22]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Entertainment Weekly review. (14 January 2009).
  3. ^ The Guardian review. Guardian.
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times review. (20 January 2009).
  5. ^ NME review. (16 January 2009).
  6. ^ Pitchfork Media review Archived 19 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Rolling Stone review.
  8. ^ Kornhaber, Spencer. (7 January 2009) Spin review.
  9. ^ The Sunday Times review.
  10. ^ Uncut review.
  11. ^ Ayers, Michael D. (13 January 2009). Antony Hegarty, Transformer. Village Voice. Retrieved on 17 January 2009.
  12. ^ Baltin, Steven (15 January 2009). Antony Is Drawn Toward the 'Light'. Spinner. Retrieved on 17 January 2009.
  13. ^ Wood, Mikael (20 January 2009). "Review: Antony and the Johnsons' The Crying Light". Boston Phoenix. 
  14. ^ Exclaim! News: New Antony and the Johnsons Album out in September
  15. ^ "Pop & Hiss". Los Angeles Times. 20 September 2010. 
  16. ^ Antony and the Johnsons news.
  17. ^ a b [1] Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Promusicae. (5 March 2007).
  19. ^ a b c d e f g [2]
  20. ^ a b Suomen virallinen lista. (5 August 2010).
  21. ^ (7 February 2009).
  22. ^
Preceded by
"Only by the Night" by Kings of Leon
Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart number-one album
31 January 2009 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Working on a Dream" by Bruce Springsteen