I Am a Bird Now

I Am a Bird Now is the second album by New York City band Antony and the Johnsons. It won the Mercury Prize on September 6, 2005. After winning the prize, the album shot up the UK albums chart from #135 to #16 in one week, the biggest jump in the history of the Mercury Music Prize.[2] As of September 2011, UK sales stood at 220,000 copies.[3]

I Am a Bird Now
I Am a Bird Now (Front Cover).png
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1, 2005 (2005-02-01)
LabelSecretly Canadian
Antony and the Johnsons chronology
The Lake
I Am a Bird Now
Hope There's Someone
Singles from I Am a Bird Now
  1. "Hope There's Someone"
    Released: 7 June 2005
  2. "You Are My Sister"
    Released: 25 October 2005

The album features guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright ("What Can I Do?"), Devendra Banhart, Joan Wasser and by lead singer Anohni's childhood heroes Boy George and Lou Reed.[4] The cover is a photograph by Peter Hujar of Warhol Superstar Candy Darling on her deathbed (aptly titled "Candy Darling on Her Deathbed").[5]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [7]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[8]
The Guardian     [9]
Los Angeles Times    [10]
Mojo     [11]
Rolling Stone     [14]
The Village VoiceB−[16]

I Am a Bird Now received very positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 88 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim."[6]

Drowned in Sound's Anthony Gibbons gave the album a score of 10/10, writing "It's not an exaggeration. This isn't hype. I Am A Bird Now is a beautiful, emotive, glorious, and sometimes sinister album that will top many a critic's list come the end-of-year polls, and justifiably so."[17] Tiny Mix Tapes also gave the album a perfect score, writing "This music grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go. It feels timeless and gorgeous and bigger than life. It may not be 'soul' in the strict, music appreciation 101 sense, but it could make even the most jaded atheist approach a metaphysical regard... I'd put on my critic's cap and dive into scrutiny, but I am too enraptured by this artist's music."[18] Pitchfork's Brandon Stosuy praised the vocals, writing "The ultimate draw is Antony's voice, and within the first two seconds of the album, it should be very clear to even the most unaware newbies that Antony has an amazing Nina Simone/Brian Ferry [sic]/Jimmy Scott vibrato, a multi-octave siren that would sound painfully lovely no matter what he was saying."[13]

The album has appeared on several end of year lists. Mojo named I Am a Bird Now the best album of 2005.[19] Pitchfork ranked the album #5 on its list of the top 50 albums of 2005.[20] On the same website, the track "Hope There's Someone" was ranked #28 on their list of the Top 500 Songs of the 2000s and was selected as 2005's best single.[21][22] In 2019, the album was ranked 40th on The Guardian's 100 Best Albums of the 21st Century list.[23]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Anohni.

1."Hope There's Someone"4:21
2."My Lady Story"3:33
3."For Today I Am a Boy"2:36
4."Man Is the Baby"4:09
5."You Are My Sister"3:59
6."What Can I Do?"1:40
7."Fistful of Love"5:52
9."Free at Last"1:36
10."Bird Guhl"3:14


The following people contributed to I Am a Bird Now:[4][5]

Antony and the JohnsonsEdit

Additional personnelEdit



Chart (2005) Peak
UK Albums Chart 16[24]
Austrian Album Charts 71[25]
Belgium Album Charts 16[25]
Danish Album Charts 38[25]
French Album Charts 45[25]
Netherland Album Charts 58[25]
Norwegian VG-lista 4[25]
Swedish Album Charts 22[25]


Year Song Peak positions
2005 "Hope There's Someone" 44
2005 "You Are My Sister" 39

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Norway (IFPI Norway)[26] Gold 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[27] Gold 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Gold 220,000^
United States 73,000[29]
Worldwide 350,000[30]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "100 Best Albums of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  2. ^ Antony & The Johnsons album sales soar. NME. 13 September 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Mercury Prize Winners - The Guardian Google spreadsheet". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  4. ^ a b Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now. Discogs. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b I Am a Bird Now - Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Reviews for I Am A Bird Now by Antony and the Johnsons". Metacritic. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  7. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "I Am a Bird Now – Antony and the Johnsons". AllMusic. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  8. ^ Feliciano, Kristina (February 4, 2005). "Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now". Entertainment Weekly: 133.
  9. ^ Clarke, Betty (March 11, 2005). "CD: Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now". The Guardian. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  10. ^ Cromelin, Richard (March 20, 2005). "It's a compelling cabaret, old chum". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now". Mojo (137): 86. April 2005.
  12. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now". NME: 58. March 12, 2005.
  13. ^ a b Stosuy, Brandon (February 10, 2005). "Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  14. ^ Fricke, David (February 10, 2005). "I'm A Bird Now: Antony and the Johnsons". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "Breakdown". Spin. 21 (3): 92. March 2005. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 10, 2006). "Consumer Guide: Extraordinary Machines". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  17. ^ Gibbons, Anthony (May 31, 2005). "Album Review: Antony And The Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  18. ^ Willcoma (December 14, 2006). "Antony & The Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  19. ^ Mojo End Of year Lists. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 3 July 2011
  20. ^ Pitchfork Staff. Top 50 Albums of 2005. Pitchfork. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  21. ^ Pitchfork Staff. The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 50-21. Pitchfork. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  22. ^ Pitchfork Staff. Top 50 Singles of 2005. Pitchfork. 30 December 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2011
  23. ^ "The 100 best albums of the 21st century". The Guardian. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  24. ^ a b "ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS - The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 24 December 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "Antony And the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now - australiancharts.com". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  26. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2007" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  28. ^ "British album certifications – Antony and the Johnsons – I am a bird now". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 December 2018. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type I am a bird now in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ Wilson, Jen (12 November 2008). "Antony And The Johnsons Returns With New Album". Billboard. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Antony and the Johnson's: Let it Come Down". Magnet Magazine. Retrieved 17 December 2018.

External linksEdit