Posts Tagged ‘Too Bright’

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Seattle’s Mike Hadreas spent the best part of his first two full-lengths under the Perfume Genius moniker finding ways to weather and draw strength from humanity’s darker moments. On his third record, Hadreas finally appears to have found a sound palette as provocative, forward-thinking and confrontational as his vehement, brave lyrical style – alongside new ways to step out of the haze and to explore himself, his sexuality and the world around him.

On this his third album Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius, performed something of a career u-turn. Whilst his previous records presented us with a series of heart-achingly beautiful piano ballads, here he gave the listener not just a new sound but a new attitude. Where previously he was a deeply emotional and somewhat miserable soul, here he presented not sadness but anger. Take the albums lead single “Queen”, a bile-fuelled attack on homophobia and gay stereotypes, set not to a plaintive piano but to crashing drums and the swaying lilt of a synthesiser and as he yelps “no family is safe when I sashay” the whole song erupts into a stunning waltzing crescendo, it’s the albums unmissable highlight.

Elsewhere the album goes from the shrieking distorted electronica of My Body, to the frankly bizarre, unique and unnerving “I’m A Mother”, as a collection of tracks it’s never short of challenging and fascinating, and there’s even some time for a few absolutely gorgeous piano ballads, almost as a reminder of what a supreme talent he truly is.

“Too Bright” is a strident and bold statement from an artist who has finally undone the knot of his past. It won’t be the record which brings him mainstream success but it will be the record that frees him from the pigeonholing of his bruised and broken singer-songwriter image.”
Here is the same song as performed on The Letterman Show,

Perfume Genius brought “Queen” to Letterman last night. Rocking an all-white suit with a collar around his neck, Mike Hadreas gave a stunning performance for his late-night TV debut. His voice sounds a little shot, but he’s been on tour non-stop since the end of August so that’s understandable. What he lacks in vocals, he makes up for in his characteristic intensity.

Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius is a singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington, US. Perfume Genius began when he moved from New York to his mother’s home in Everett, WA. In these relatively isolated conditions, Hadreas felt a compulsion to make music and began composing fragile yet brutally honest songs on the piano.