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Put Your Back N 2 It

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Perfume Genius

Put Your Back N 2 It

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

Perfume Genius is Mike Hadreas, a Seattle songwriter whose jarring 2010 debut album, Learning, was called "an album of rare, redemptive beauty…one of the most uniquely endearing and quietly forceful debut albums of recent years." His new album, Put Your Back N 2 It, is much more universal, addressing intimacy, power, family, secrecy, and hope not just through his impressionistic lyrics, but the music itself, which is as lush as Learning was stark. Recorded by Drew Morgan and John Goodmanson, this sonically beautiful, more approachable album will connect with more people directly.


The online trailer for Perfume Genius' Put Your Back N 2 It, which featured Mike Hadreas being cradled like a baby in the arms of gay porn star Arpad Miklos, presented the perfect imagery for the growth in Hadreas' music since his debut, Learning. That album, which combined music that sounded like a bootleg of a piano recital with devastatingly intimate observations about the different ways people hurt each other, felt like a cry in the dark. Put Your Back N 2 It shows how much Hadreas learned from Learning: it's more confident but still subversive, like the work of someone who's come through troubles stronger and can comfort others. The unabashedly lush sound of songs such as "AWOL Marine," which, with its sweeping synth strings and piano, feels like a missing piece of Angelo Badalamenti's melodramatic and knowing score for Twin Peaks, only highlights how tremulous Hadreas' voice still is, but he finds strength in his fragility. There's a strong hymnal, inspirational quality to Put Your Back N 2 It suggesting that Perfume Genius could do a brilliant version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" if Hadreas wanted. On "Normal Song," he reminds listeners that "no violence can darken the heart or tear it apart," but the gently rousing feel of "Take Me Home" and "No Tear" gives a universality to more personal lyrics like "I will carry on with grace/Zero tears on my face." Indeed, a big part of what makes Put Your Back N 2 It's moments of comfort so genuine is that Hadreas is no longer writing as an observer, but as a participant. This confessional bent underscores the album's feeling of having the courage to be direct, to show flaws and to reach out for intimacy no matter what, all of which comes to the fore on the gorgeous "Hood," a song about fighting self-doubt for love. And even when Hadreas sings of "this gnarled face" on "17," the song offers more hope than the characters in Learning's songs ever had. The finest moments here go even further, transforming love into an action rather than just a feeling. On "Dark Parts," Hadreas comforts a lover about being molested, singing "I will take the dark part of your heart into my heart"; the title track combines tenderness and strength into "love with no hiding"; and most poignantly, Hadreas imagines a day where he can take a lover's hand "on any crowded street with no hesitating fear" on "All Waters," the very song that soundtracked the Put Your Back N 2 It trailer. While Learning's haunting storytelling remains singular, Hadreas is as brave an artist as ever, and Put Your Back N 2 It is a heartening follow-up in so many ways.

Additional Information

Artist Perfume Genius
Track Listing 1. AWOL Marine 2. Normal Song 3. No Tear 4. 17 5. Take Me Home 6. Dirge 7. Dark Parts 8. All Waters 9. Hood 10. Put Your Back N2 It 11. Floating Spit 12. Sister Song

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