39 ANOHNI: Paradise

Distant Wonder Rumbles



This mini-album is a threat. It’s an aggressive and intimidating declaration of intentions. It’s subtle, but there are people (or perhaps just ‘person’: me) smart enough to decipher it. Like when Donald Trump


visits Kim Jong Un for a state banquet, and Jongy spends the entire meal flicking peas directly into Trump’s mashed potatoes, particularly around the east side of the plate. Trump won’t understand the suggestion, of course, because [DONALD TRUMP IS STUPID JOKE] and the fat fuck is just happy that he’s getting a little extra food. But us smart people (yes, you. And you. And you! Not you though. You know why. You know why) will see the threat being made, we’ll know some pretty awesome shit’s about to go down!!


ANOHNI’s (kinda) debut ‘Hopelessness’ was a freaking amazing album: comfortably one of the best albums of (kayfabe) last year, and an amazing complete revolution of the music ANOHNI produced when she released records as Antony and the Johnsons (wait… was that ‘johnsons’ as in ‘willies’…? How long has she been planning this…?). A complete Blazin’ Squad esque flip reversal of the gorgeous and lovably portentous epic chamber pop she once dealt in, now she was an electro demon: combining absolute bangers about club music tropes like global warming and the death penalty.


It was wonderful. It was horrendously flawed in places. Occasionally the lyrics were so cringeworthy that if a 14 year old boy scrawled them on his wall in sharpie in one of his more ‘poetic’ moments he would immediately demand his parents redecorate his room so he no longer  had to look at the fuckers. And while ANOHNI’s uptempo game was on point- with songs like Execution and 4 Degrees* comfortable career highlights- she struggled to invest the same vibrancy and excitement to the slower-paced songs. The album was bogged down with far too many slow, experimental dirges, which completely lacked the warmth and beauty of an artist who has previously been responsible for some of the most beautiful songs ever.

We-he-he-he-hell, ANOHNI ain’t playing anymore: motherfucker is ready to throw down, yeah? ‘Paradise’ obviously exists as a mid-point between albums, and an indication of where her next album will head off to. Judging by this preview, that next ANOHNI album will blow your fucking brains out!!


If ‘Hopelessness’ was an experiment in zero sum artistry- where ANOHNI jumped straight into the electro pool with her clothes off and submerged herself underwater in the new exciting direction- ‘Paradise’ is the beginning of her attempting to combine that sound with her past work as Antony. The results are astonishing, the beauty is back, and I’m just seriously warning all of you kids that the next ANOHNI album may well be the greatest (non-Beyonce) contribution to pop culture of all time


That’s it, isn’t it? That’s freakin’ it!! It’s often said of us ‘lefties’ that we hate wealth, that we actually desire a world where everyone is poor- and probably all black flipping lesbians** or something- and that anyone with large amounts of money is inherently evil. That is, of course, completely untrue. I mean, who is the greatest, most influential and most important left wing thinker of our age? That’s right: Russel Brand, and he has an estimated net worth of $15 million!!

ANOHNI- as the award suggests- hits the nail on the fucking*** head with that line: wealth is only an issue when it is predicated on the poverty of others. If you’re the richest person in the world, then bully for you, and there’s absolutely no automatic requirement for you to give back any of that money to the world that birthed you. However, if the only reason you’re rich is because you had to make other people poor, then your success actually becomes a moral issue. That one line is better and more incisive than all of ‘Hopelessness’s lyrics combined


Age: 46 (+12)

Album Length: 22 minutes (+24)

Very Good Songs: 2 (+6)

Brilliant Songs: 3 (+15)

AMAZING Songs: 1 (+10)

% of Album Worthwhile: 100





This cover exposes a difficult and disappointingly conservative belief within me, that is one I’m struggling to shake off. It features eight female artists exhibiting different emotions. And ANOHNI. Whom I still can’t accept as an equivalent woman. I know this reaction is wrong, and likely won’t be shared by the usless and lazy generation after me, but I still consider ANOHNI as someone who has chosen to be a woman, rather than a ‘real’ woman. I still think she stands out on that album cover as someone identifying as a woman, rather than an actual woman.

This is a horrible little conservative viewpoint, that I’m honestly working on, and absolutely the wrong reaction (people should accept that just because something is a feeling that they hold it in no way makes that feeling correct: I fucking love McDonalds, for example), but I like to ise this blog as a confessional on ocassion

Fuck, I’ll have to give it a high score now, won’t I?


Previous Entries: 2016 No.10 (ANOHNI) 2009 N0.17 2010 consideration (Antony and the Johnsons)

I should be awarding past successes as well as just the debutants, shouldn’t I?


Meta Critic: 80

Mercury Music Prizes: 1 (+10)

I really respect the Mercury Music Prize. Shut Up




*Fuck, that song’s just Hounds of Love, isn’t it? Only just noticed that…

**I once, seriously, wrote a song when I was a teenager with the chorus ‘Black disabled lesbian/Will take over the world’, making the point that, like, it’s the most different people that are actually most important, yeah? It was actually better than most of the lyrics on ‘Hopelessness’

***Far too much swearing in this entry, isn’t there? I sincerely apologise****

****You thought I was going to say ‘I sincerely fucking apologise’ then, didn’t you? Come on, that’s far too obvious a joke. Far too fucking obvious

2 thoughts on “39 ANOHNI: Paradise

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