PRINT December 2005

Music: Best of 2005

Debra Singer

1 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS, I AM A BIRD NOW (SECRETLY CANADIAN) These gorgeously crafted ballads about longing and loneliness, desire and pain perfectly combine Antony Hegarty’s ethereal, soulful voice with his highly original, touching lyrics.

2 BARR, BEYOND REINFORCED JEWEL CASE (5RC) The raw, idiosyncratic energy of Barr’s (aka Brendan Fowler’s) declarative performance style completely won me over. His personal, political, and humorous songs are part inspirational stories, part positive manifestos.

3 KONONO NO. 1, CONGOTRONICS 1 (CRAMMED) This incredible band from Kinshasa, founded more than twenty-five years ago, generates a thrilling jangle of furious polyrhythms and electronic grooves. Drawing on traditional Bazombo trance music, it centers on the sounds of multiple likembés (thumb pianos) distorted by a jerryrigged amplification system and combined with percussive instruments and lyrics

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