[one_half last=”yes”]PERFUME GENIUS
Label: Matador Records
01. I Decline
04. No Good
05. My Body
06. Don’t Let Them In
09. I’m a Mother
10. Too Bright
11. All Along
NBHAP Rating: 4/5
An out-of-the-box listening experience…
The term singer/songwriter is maybe almost a bit clichéd and understated in this context, for PERFUME GENIUS aka Mike Hadreas turns out to be more of a composer and artist on his third full-length Too Bright. You won’t get anything ready-made, ‘off the rack’, but very extraordinary and strong music penned by an engrossed and talented musician. Diversity and creativity are main features of his genius.
Experimental and emotional are a beautiful mélange.
Besides a loverly voice and some formidable instrumental skills – basic requirements for solo artists anyway – PERFUME GENIUS is convincing by his miscellaneous and unexpected extravaganza. His playful arrangements with the piano, bright soundscapes, a dramatic voice and touching stories are simply electrifying. Surely, producer Adrian Utley (PORTISHEAD) and John Parish, featuring some of the songs, contributed to the greatness of this work.
Why is it much braver than its two precursors?
Despite fragile and beautiful tracks like I Decline, No Good and All Along, it is songs like Queen, partly Fool or My Body that come along as keen, rising, almost daunting and powerful songs that clearly differ from his previous works. Hadreas himself describes the development as follows: ‘Making the album was like I had woken some ancient beast which began to rattle and threaten to rise’. And since everything happens for a good reason, the beast – as frightening as it may have been – helped to liberate some long suppressed feelings in an amazing kind of way.
Seattle-based songwriter PERFUME GEINUS’ new album ‘Too Bright’ is a masterpiece among its genre and worth many admiring hours of listening.