A Table Is For Dancing On

My Life In Music

Album Review: Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

on May 30, 2012

My brother recommended this album to me. He described the album as “beautiful, harrowing, evocative and spell-bounding”; all adjectives that when used to describe a piece of music, I could not ignore.

The album is all of these things and more. I fell into a dream when listening to this captivating album. I fell deep into Mike Hadreas’ (aka Perfume Genius) subconscious and memories, feeling the emotions that his lyrical poetry and mesmerising, unique voice embodies. Opening the record with Awol Marine, the vocals are haunting, yet the piece of music has a soothing and calming effect, almost lullaby-like and sets the tone appropriately for the rest of the album.

A track that stood out on this album is Normal Song (track 2). It’s lyrics are filled with true, tangible emotions. Although the music for this song is pretty and sweet, for me it is the lyrics that demand the listener’s attention. With poetry that reads, “take my hand when you are scared and I will pray if you go back out there“, I couldn’t help but be compelled to do what Hadreas was pleading for me to do. It was as though he was speaking to me, the listener.

The song Dark Parts (track 6) is more up-tempo with the pianists fingers moving from key to key at a faster pace, accompanied by a strong and definite drum beat. This creates more energy that adds to the strength of the album. However, the change in pace of the music does not allow the lyrics to suffer, which are just as beautiful and filled with emotion as the slower, balladesque songs. The song ends with slow piano and poetry that reads, “I will take the dark parts of your heart into my heart“. It’s as if Hadreas needed the message of the song to be emphasised and this was executed beautifully.

After experiencing this album in one sitting from beginning to end, which is the only way to experience this album (the word ‘listening’ does not describe it strongly enough), I felt the record had emotionally touched me, to the point where I could physically feel it in my chest. I had accompanied Hadreas on his journey and identified and empathised with him. I long for Perfume Genius to tour again because if a CD can conjour up such strong emotions, I can only imagine the effect that a live rendition will have on me. A beautiful album, lyrically, musically and emotionally.

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