Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Vinyl LP Record + Digital Download

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Too Bright is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Perfume Genius, released in September 2014 via Matador Records.

Perfume Genius is the stage name for Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas who has released three albums to date.

Too Bright was co-produced by Adrian Utley of Portishead, to critical acclaim.The album was a transformative leap for Hadreas and marked a new trajectory in his career. He has moved from sparse arrangements often backed by piano to something more bold and unpredictable.

The following is an extract from his website describing the album:

Here, Hadreas is aided in his efforts by not one, but two unlikely conspirators – John Parish, who plays drums on several tracks, and Portishead’s Adrian Utley, who, as producer, brought the physical resources to flesh out the songs ininnovative ways. According to Hadreas, Utley was the key to unlocking unexplored terrain on the album, using both synths and organic instrumentation to push the tracks to darker and more unreal heights. The album is also rounded off with key contributions from longtime touring band members Alan Wyffels and Hervé Bécart. The fragile yet defiant “I Decline” opens the album, draped in hushed, languorous beauty, but it is an outlier. On the following track (and first single) “Queen”, the line “Don’t you know your queen?” booms out over ominous guitars, not so much a genuine question as a rhetorical one, as Hadreas proceeds to deconstruct gay panic with relish. Even with a wordless (albeit soaring and cacophonous) symphony of a chorus it sounds huge and anthemic, a gleeful kiss-off. He says, “I sometimes see faces of blank fear when I walk by...if these fucking people want to give me some power – if they see me as some sea witch with penis tentacles that are always prodding and poking and seeking to convert the muggles – well, here she comes”. 

That mischievous sense of defiance runs rampant through the album. A surreal threat hangs over songs like “My Body” and “Grid”, with piercing screams, tribal drums and electronic stabs highlighting disturbing lyrics of self-destruction and temporary respite from the darkness. On “Fool,” meanwhile, deceptively swinging doo-wop rhythms disguise a story of social mutiny,  with Hadreas tearing into the stereotype of “a walking, talking candelabra”, and rejecting it for something much more volatile and dangerous. “I've met people that laugh at EVERYTHING I say,” he muses. “I could be talking about OJ or Munchausen’s Syndrome or bloody stool – I am still just the cutest thing. Here only to enrich their lives, not have one of my own. Make their dress, tell them how great their boobs look and then peace. Isn't he the best?”

Which is not to say that Hadreas has completely abandoned the shimmering, exquisite piano ballads that he is so known for. “No Good” is a heartbreaking meditation on a difficult life lived on the outside but “spent looking in”, while the somber closer “All Along” is a resigned yet firm rebuke to acceptance and reassurance from external forces, preferring instead to find refuge from within – “I have my love,” Hadreas asserts, “and I apply it where I need to”.

This, in fact, is the overarching theme of Too Bright; the connective tissue loosely joining up these 11 stunning, weird and wonderful tracks – the discovery of strength and power where previously he felt he had little. As he puts it, during the making of the album, it felt “like I had woken some ancient beast which began to rattle and threaten to rise.” With this record, consider the demon awoken.

The album received rave reviews from an array of publications. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, gave the album an average score of 87, which indicates "universal acclaim". Pitchfork gave the album a 8.5 and commented that "these songs feel less like songs and more like treasures, ones that fill you with power and wisdom", and was titled Best New Music.

The album charted at number 77 on the UK Album chart.

Check out a couple of tracks from the album:  Queen, Fool, Grid, I Decline, Too Bright and Longpig.

This limited LP vinyl record includes a printed inner sleeve and digital download code, pressed in Europe.

(744861102816)

Tracklisting:

 

A1

I Decline

 

A2

Queen

 

A3

Fool

 

A4

No Good

 

A5

My Body

 

A6         

Don't Let Them In            

       

B1

Grid

 

B2

Longpig

 

B3

I'm A Mother

 

B4

Too Bright

 

B5

All Along

 

SKU 744861102816
Record Label Matador Records
Label / Model # Inertia
Catalogue Number OLE 1028-1
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 23 September 2014
Original Release Date (Year) 23 September 2014
Barcode # 744861102816
Shipping Weight 0.2700kg
Shipping Width 0.005m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000493000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, Vinyl, Printed Inner Sleeve, Digital Download Code
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock & Popular
Format VINYL LP

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