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> Perfume Genius- Too Bright (Review), Review of Perfume Genius's latest album
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post Sep 29 2014, 11:46 AM
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PERFUME GENIUS- TOO BRIGHT (Review) rolleyes.gif

Mike Hadreas is a fragile soul, constantly feeling uncomfortable about his sexual orientation but gradually finding ways to cope with society’s divided acceptance. Despite his home state of Seattle being the 2nd largest LGBT community after San Fransisco, Hadreas still persists that there is still a gay panic over a larger scale in America. His previous albums consisted predominantly of slow tracks, which expressed confessional and tearful experiences. Honestly, albums made entirely of slow tracks aren’t my taste and I my hope was that on the new album he could offer more. He is so much more admirable and interesting when he let’s go and creates dramatic sounds that are unsettling and confrontational and let out the anger he withholds whilst fighting back at the prejudice.

Thankfully amongst the expected slow music are the weird and challenging and this offering more to grab on to and confront. “I’m a Mother” is the stand out track, which stays in the mind long afterwards. It’s depressing, claustrophobic (like a man screaming for help and hiding inside a cabinet) and hauntingly beauty giving the listener welcoming temporary goose bumps. With its nonsensical enigmatic murmuring and distant blurred harmonics, it paints a picture of what heaven could sound like. “Longpig” is an example of a time when Hadreas’s voice is similar to Win Butler of Arcade Fire, accompanied by electronic Tron-ish beats. “Grid” is another example of how Hadreas makes us at unease and uncomfortable like his own personal experiences. It’s an unnerving track with tribal yelling simultaneously existing with unassembled unpredictable drumming patterns.

“My Body” is a short and strange track, which matches distorted reverb with megaphone-like voice before ending with a hellish tunnel of guitar squeaks. It lacks any distinctive hook or obvious composition path constantly uncertain. “Fool” is operatic like Sigur Ros but accessibly blissful like M83 and tests Hadreas’s falsetto. The 2nd part of the track is separated with finger clicks on par with the intermission sequence in Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal video and ending with a pleasant piano structure.

Lead single “Queen” is still the highlight (if not completely self-reflecting of the album’s sound) and his angst and rebellion shows through but in a commercially viable wrapping. Lyrics including “Don’t you know I’m Queen, cracked, peeling, riddled with disease/ no family is safe” sum up the sarcastic statement of a man fed up with homophobia in it’s most extreme forms.

If anything, the bravery to use music to highlight and fight for your individuality is worth a salute, even if the slower music tempo elements aren’t always my cup of tea.

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