Perfume Genius: “Too Bright” Album Review

Written By Danae Ruiz

Perfume Genius, also known as Mike Hadreas, is back again with his third album “Too Bright,” released September 23rd, 2014.

The album does not shy away from the reality of heartbreak and all the raw emotions, or stains it may come with.  On “Fool,” he explains “I made your dress/ I laid it out/ On the couch and bar/ That I picked out” and later reveals the effect of a “fool in love” with him bleeding out on the same couch and bar he picked out.  He continues the the theme of lost love with “No Good.” He shares “ To me love was, always infinite/ Stolen moment, at a time/ A feeling only out, for a little while/ And then ripped from your arms, like a child”

 

All at once it’s more intimate than his previous two albums, Put Your Back N 2 it, and Learning. He brings a lot of his sexuality into his music this album. Battling issues like stereotypes and sadness. You are dragged into reality as he expresses what it feels like to be overwhelmed by all of these at once in a very mellow and trippy sounding album. It is like a response to all those issues in one album. On “Queen” addressing homosexual stereotypes, he mocks “Don’t you know your Queen?/ Ripped, heaving/ Flowers bloom at my feet/ Don’t you know your Queen?/ Cracked, peeling/ Riddled with disease.” As if there are only flamboyant and disease infected men.

In an interview with American Songwriter, Hadreas says “I guess a lot of my thinking is wrapped up in body stuff,” he continues, “I’m not certain how that happened or why I’ve attached so many things to it. I think it’s because I was sick a lot growing up, and also just the way I look is such an easy place to put a lot of my anxieties.” Suffering from Crohn’s disease, Hadreas points out his own insecurities on “My Body” with I wear my body like a rotted peach/ You can have it if you handle the stink.

Overall, the album is worth the listen and borderline poetic when he breaks barriers and illusions about sexuality, heartbreak and confidence. This album has shown a different side of Hadreas, showing that in the end, we are more than what defines us; we’re human.

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