The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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January’s best bets in music

Antony and the Johnsons

“The Crying Light”

Antony Hegarty, the somewhat androgynous and sexually frustrated frontman of Antony and the Johnsons, is nothing short of a musical genius. He’s most recognizable by his powerful, classical voice, which boasts in immaculate range. His music revolves mainly around piano and orchestral instruments, but his unmistakable voice is the reason it’s Antony and the Johnsons and not the other way around. Antony’s third full-length album, “The Crying Light,” is much like its 2005 predecessor, “I Am a Bird Now,” in its beautiful string, piano and percussion arrangements as well as Antony’s unmatched vocal expertise. Songs this time around seem fairly upbeat, but dance around the notion of the word, pulling on raw emotion and powerful movements of music. Just because it’s not as depressing, doesn’t mean Antony won’t rip your heart out with his poetic musings. “The Crying Light” is utterly gorgeous from beginning to end. It’s definitely Antony and the Johnsons’ greatest effort, and even though there hasn’t been too much competition, it’s the best album of the month.

Track Picks: “Her Eyes are Underneath the Ground,” “The Crying Light,” “Daylight and the Sun”

Final rating: 10/10

AC Newman

“Get Guilty”

Why is it that the solo work by members of the New Pornographers is always better than what they put out as a band? Everyone knows that the best Pornographers’ songs are the ones by Dan Bejar, the whiny voice behind his solo moniker of Destroyer. Neko Case has put out a handful of well-received alternative country albums. Finally, singer Carl (AC) Newman’s 2004 “The Slow Wonder” is far superior to any Pornographers record to date. His second release, “Get Guilty” follows suite. Newman’s musical style seems to fit better when it’s a bare-bones effort. New Pornographers records struggle from bells, whistles, over-production and radio-friendly jams. With “Get Guilty,” Newman forgoes the crowded tunes and sticks with simple songwriting. That’s not to say he doesn’t experiment some with his tracks, but what else would you expect? “Get Guilty” proves that Newman will always have something to do after the demise of the New Pornographers.

Track Picks: “Prophets,” “Thunderbolts”

Final rating: 7/10

Animal Collective

“Merriweather Post Pavillion”

With their eighth studio album, Animal Collective, an avant-garde group of Baltimore musicians, reaches a perfect peak. “Merriweather Post Pavillion,” which combines free-form electronic beats with hazy, pop-influenced vocals, is a long trip into the minds of the ever-shifting Animal Collective line-up, primarily made up of Panda Bear, Avey Tare, Deakin and Geologist. Animal Collective’s previous album, “Strawberry Jam,” raised questions for diehard fans, as Avey Tare’s brash and shrill vocals frequently conflicted with the more mellow and charming Panda Bear. The album, surprisingly enough, smoothes these waters, giving listeners an entirely new, and shockingly accessible, feast for the ears. Unlike “Strawberry Jam,” “Merriweather Post Pavilion” seamlessly melds the stylistic differences of all four band members, allowing Panda Bear to shine on the sentimental tracks, such as “My Girls” and “Brother Sport,” while Avey Tare asserts his role in “Bluish” and “Lion In A Coma,” all while Geologist provides the rousing electric samples that fans have come to love.

FiNal Rating: 9.5/10

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