ALBUM REVIEW: Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

posted on Mar.13, 2012

Perfume Genius
Put Your Back N 2 It
Release Number: 2nd
Hailing From: Seattle, Washington
Genre: Lo-fi pop
Label: Matador

From the first haunting keys of “AWOL Marine”, Put Your Back N 2 It is a brutally honest record. For my first few listens, I thought it was a good record but I didn’t really understand the hype. It was good, but not that good. It wasn’t until I decided to put it on late at night while trying to go to sleep that I really understood the album and appreciated for what it is. The album is so raw and so personal that, at first, it can seem a little off-putting. But if you embrace the atmosphere of the album and really take it in, it can be a truly emotional experience.


Not much has changed on this album compared to Perfume Genius’ 2010 debut Learning. The album sounds a little more produced, but it still keeps to the same aesthetic that Mike Hadreas demonstrated on his earlier work. If anything, the album is a little more uplifting and a little more optimistic than Learning. Songs like “Take Me Home” and “Hood” are more full-bodied affairs and really pay off.

Hadreas’ lyricism is really at the forefront of the album. With such sparse instrumentation, Perfume Genius is really all about the lyrics and Hadreas delivers for the most part. Songs like “17” and “Dark Parts” are filled with great imagery and blunt emotional pleas. “When I can take your hand on any crowded street and hold you close to me with no hesitating,” Hadreas sings on “All Waters” and the emotion behind it is visceral and accessible.

This album isn’t going to be for everyone and I can understand that. I’m not sure I’d want to listen to it too much, only because it’s almost too much emotion to really take in one sitting. But in the right mood and the right atmosphere, Put Your Back N 2 It is transcendent and an absolute must-listen.

– James Rettig, Web Director

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