Thematically and atmospherically, it is even more successful than The Crying Light, achieving its cohesiveness with an even wider stylistic palette.
While Swanlights shares its predecessor’s themes, it shuns its insularity, with Antony stretching his arms across a vast landscape.
Across three records and a few dozen collaborations, Antony's seemed an uncanny puppet master of grace; Swanlights, however, wobbles.
It’s still an album that contains peerless highs, particularly when Antony surrenders himself completely to songs like ‘Everything Is New’ and ‘Swanlights’, but a more dynamic reconstruction of the Johnsons’ core sound would be most welcome next time around.
As with Hegarty's previous releases, there remains the sense that this is an album to be admired, rather than loved, but that's not to take anything away from the beautiful craftsmanship on display here.