Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It

Seattle’s Mike Hadreas made his debut as Perfume Genius in 2010, on a lauded album – Learning – which seemed to function primarily as a channel for his earlier life’s despair. This follow-up mostly continues in the same stratum; the twelve confessional songs are leanly structured around demure guitar and piano parts. Its alphanumeric title might have implied some unexpected shift towards the stylings of Prince, but of the Purple One’s back catalogue, only ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ combines such quietly earnest composition with a text-speak title.

So many ostensibly troubled singer-songwriters produce music which slides lazily into over-indulgent schmaltz or affected emo, but Put Your Back N 2 It sidesteps both traps. To its credit, Hadreas’ lo-fi recordings are understated and unpretentious, the best of them evoking the refined textures of Peter Broderick’s folksongs. This time around, the personal lyrics still refer to suicide and drug abuse, but there are glimmers of hope amid the misery – the title track is shot through with the optimism of a relationship’s early stages. Even when his outlook tilts upwards, though, the arrangements have a tendency to feel oddly insubstantial. It’s as if Hadreas’ music can’t quite escape the mental exhaustion which has overwhelmed him in private. It’s a shame, because the result is an a bum slighter and less distinctive than his story might warrant.

Overall

6

out of 10

We need your help

Running a website like The Digital Fix - especially one with over 20 years of content and an active community - costs lots of money and we need your help. As advertising income for independent sites continues to contract we are looking at other ways of supporting the site hosting and paying for content.

You can help us by using the links on The Digital Fix to buy your films, games and music and we ask that you try to avoid blocking our ads if you can. You can also help directly for just a few pennies per day via our Patreon - and you can even pay to have ads removed from the site entirely.

Click here to find out more about our Patreon and how you can help us.

Did you enjoy the article above? If so please help us by sharing it to your social networks with the buttons below...

Category Quick Fix

Latest Articles