Saturday, 17 March 2012

Put Your Back N2 It

Artist: Perfume Genius
Album: Put Your Back N2 It
Release Date: 20/2/2012

A near- perfect diary of misery

Sadness is an emotion that almost everybody deals with differently. Some people will turn angry. Others will fall into depression. Some will sit in their rooms listening to Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" and let the desperately lonely atmospheres soak up their tears. Perhaps the most upsetting instances of sadness however are when people have to cope with it on their own, shut away from the rest of the world, enclosed in soulful darkness. From the sound of Perfume Genius' (aka Mike Hadreas) second album "Put Your Back N2 It", he knows all about the pains of suffering alone.

"Put Your Back N2 It" is a tragic journal of times of love, loss and internal misery. It sees Hadreas encircle himself in all his most brutally honest thoughts and encapsulate himself in a suffocating world of sadness, which in turn makes the record an endlessly uncomfortable and harrowing listen. At the beginning of opener "AWOL Marine" Hadreas utters a a deep breath, as if not even he is prepared for what he is about to endorse in. The song progresses forward with an affecting melody fronted by Hadreas' skillful piano playing and ends on brooding atmospherics. "Normal Song" revolves around a beautifully simple acoustic guitar riff and finds Hadreas at his most consoling as he sings "No violence/ No matter how bad/ Will darken the heart." On "17" Hadreas sounds like he's holding back tears, his mellow piano melody supported by rising but ghostly and cold orchestral movements. "Take Me Home" features doo- wop- esque vocal harmonies in the background and a tinny, foggy production hanging over the pounding drums.

One of the most beautiful factors that goes into the fractured gorgeousness of "Put Your Back N2 It" is the music itself. Sometimes fulfilling and full of texture, other times barely there it never ceases to hold a diverse and always mournful backdrop to Hadreas' emotional lead melodies. "All Waters" is carried by a deeply moving and intense orchestral section as Hadreas' vocals resound sadly in the cavernous soundscape as he sings of how he'll wait forever to be able to hold the person he loves once again.

At the more lyrical spectrum of the album, "Hood" is absolutely devastating. It deals with doing something so bad that if your lover ever found out you'd done it they'd leave you in an instant. "You would never call me baby if you knew the truth" opens up Hadreas before going on to admit "Under this hood that you kiss/ I tick like a bomb."

"Put Your Back N2 It" is relentlessly intoxicating but almost always musically stunning. Aside from the heart- wrenching lyrics, the music here is just as profound and atmospheric, all adding to the intensity of the thing. Hadreas may need some serious love and support, and hopefully he'll get it. But at the same time, fingers crossed that it doesn't prevent him from churning out affecting works of wonder such as this.

Download: 1) Hood, 2) Normal Song, 3) All Waters, 4) 17
For Fans Of: Antony & The Johnsons, Youth Lagoon, The Antlers


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