Listeners would be forgiven to be skeptical about Put Your Back N 2 It. Beyond the silly title, the album has also earned controversy after YouTube deemed inappropriate promo footage featuring Perfume Genius (nÃ©e Mike Hadreas) scantily clad and embracing a pornographic actor.
But Hadreasâ€™ music is neither reductive nor explicit. Instead, Put Your Bank N 2 It features vulnerable vocals, poignant piano, and acoustic guitars. Itâ€™s a delicate, beautiful album filled with just as much longing as Hadreasâ€™ debut,Â Learning. This troubadour knows how to use minimalism to his advantage, with his brief songs striking the heart and then pulling away before blood can be spilled.
The tragic â€œNo Tearâ€ is only enhanced by haunting vocals, with the words â€œI shall shed no tearâ€ manipulated to sound like an old record slowly dying. â€œAll Watersâ€ features gentle keyboards as Hadreasâ€™ lyrics describe a desolate world in which lovers ought to cling to one another. The build of â€œHoodâ€ has shades of 50’s doo-wop, and the albumâ€™s title track is a piano ballad filled with unfulfilled desire.
Fans of Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, and Villagers will be able to appreciate Perfume Geniusâ€™ aesthetic as well as his sound. Strip away your pretenses, and you will find a deeply human experience captured in this record.