Perfume Genius
Too Bright


3.5
great

Review

by ChronicSmiler USER (12 Reviews)
May 11th, 2015 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pride.

Coming to terms with one’s vulnerabilities is an important aspect of growing as a person. For Mike Hadreas, the man behind Perfume Genius, coming to terms with things like his self-proclaimed awkwardness and sexuality has been a journey that he has been trying to explore through his music since Perfume Genius’s conception. Life has been rough; but with “Too Bright”, Hadreas has taken those vulnerabilities and runs with them, for better or worse. There is definite pride here in the composition of this album, and Hadreas puts himself on display so that he does indeed, shine bright.

For such a mixed personality such as Hadreas though, this does yield mixed results. While his foray into more experimental synth-laden tracks such as “Grid” and “Queen” come off as sounding legitimately terrifying and heavily playful respectively; the more suppressed and stripped back like “No Good” and “Too Bright” feel slightly out of place due to their less threatening nature in comparison. While the album is not varied necessarily, Hadreas seems to shine more brightly when the album stays in its ironically more consistent experimental territory.

A lot of the mixed feelings have to do with how Hadreas utilizes his voice. It seems like it is at its best when he employs it as an atmospheric aesthetic rather than the center point. Highlight “I’m a Mother” is a truly chilling song that shows this done to frightening proportions, as his vocals are drowned in reverb and creepy effects as they enhance the slow, brooding, similar drenched-in-reverb synth; while “Grid’s” active synths, use of screams, and Hadreas’ more conversational performance make him sound like the leader of a chaotic movement. However, the more ballad formatted tracks don’t quite fit Hadreas more shaky voice.

Luckily for Hadreas, the production allows his eccentricities to shine bright on the standout tracks, while still managing a somewhat pleasing aesthetic on the “No Good’s” and “Too Bright’s”. An excellent example would be in “Don’t Let Them In”, where while Hadreas’ vocal style may be slightly off, the ethereal piano line that comes in during the midsection of the song eventually becomes a saving grace. As for the hit songs such as “Queen”, it just would not feel the same if the ominous distorted guitar combined with the blinking shiny synths were not presented so confidently.

Ultimately, that is what this album is about; Hadreas’ confidence and pride. Although not all the ideas might have stuck, he is not afraid to put his ideas out there because they represent what he is. Even the songs that may sound more self-deprecating like that of the more withdrawn subject matter of “My Body” and the brooding insecure sound of “I’m a Mother” still maintain an air of confidence just through the fact that Hadreas knows his music well – which make tracks with self-confident titles like “Queen” and “Too Bright” – shine even brighter.



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user ratings (248)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
HalcyonMusic (4)
Don't let them in....


Comments:Add a Comment 
PappyMason
May 11th 2015


5702 Comments


Nice write-up, man. I've been meaning to check out this guy's work for a while now. I'll get round to it eventually.

toomuchtestosterone
May 12th 2015


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty much spot on with how I feel about the album.

Also, "As for the hit songs such as “Queen”, it just would feel the same if the..."

I think it should be "wouldn't" not "would". Pos'd

ChronicSmiler
May 12th 2015


42 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the comments, man! It definitely makes better reviews, so cheers!

Anthracks
July 22nd 2015


6325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

jamming this for the first time in a long time still so good gat damn

Digging: Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites

ArsMoriendi
October 12th 2016


27686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When the song named after what some cannibals call human meat is your favorite song on here...

Digging: Dead Can Dance - Garden of the Arcane Delights

NorthernSkylark
November 14th 2016


9564 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fool is still such a banger

Digging: Tindersticks - No Treasure but Hope

AmericanFlagAsh
March 21st 2017


9050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New single!

And new album announced.

Digging: FKA Twigs - Magdalene

ArsMoriendi
March 21st 2017


27686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Make a news article about it

AmericanFlagAsh
March 21st 2017


9050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Idek how to do that anymore



Edit: Nvm figured it out

ArsMoriendi
March 21st 2017


27686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slip Away kind of sucks compared to pretty much anything on Too Bright...

NorthernSkylark
March 21st 2017


9564 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, I'm psyched!

Zeta
May 2nd 2017


77 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

new one is resistant to leaking

AmericanFlagAsh
May 2nd 2017


9050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slip Away is still so good

Zeta
May 2nd 2017


77 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

found it underwhelming, too bombastic. i reckon the rest of the record will be more subtle tho

AmericanFlagAsh
May 2nd 2017


9050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like him being more bombastic than subtle

JigglyPDiddy
May 2nd 2017


3694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I hope his new album rules, haven't heard the singles

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2017


3097 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wasn't huge on Go Ahead, but Slip Away was so fantastic. Can't wait for the new album.

Digging: Keaton Henson - Six Lethargies

NorthernSkylark
May 2nd 2017


9564 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It will be great I'm sure !

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2017


3097 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No Shape is excellent. < 3

literallyzach
May 5th 2017


518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah new album is literally unbelievable check it out



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