Two kings of the indie dancefloor unite for a warm, timeless take on 20th century pop and rock
Perfume Genius - 'Too Bright'
Mike Hadreas takes his tortured confessionals closer to the dancefloor
It’s a forceful reintroduction from the Seattle-based pianist, whose last release was 2012's maudlin 'Put Your Back N 2 It', and the song’s hypnotic, lurching percussion is impressive and oddly reminiscent of Blur's 'Tender'. ‘Grid’ and ‘Longpig’ are two more instances where Hadreas, known for the wracked falsetto confessionals found on that last album and his 2010 debut 'Learning', edges closer to dancefloor bombast. The former boasts an exciting bass-throb that kicks; the latter is a fizzing synth-rush.
But the compelling, vulnerable voice familiar from his earlier work still lurks behind his new facade; occasionally, it even overrides it. ‘Fool’ is a case in point. Initially, it flaunts new vigour with disco synth and shoulder-slide funk that recalls Prince. Yet suddenly he drops the funk and the song melds into a funereal organ hum. It's as if he's at pains to remind us that he’s still a bundle of nerves and shyness. On 'Don't Let Them In' he wraps his discontented warble (”I'm trapped in this body”) around sparse, slow piano. The bruised ‘No Good’ and the tearful ‘Too Bright’ too, are classic Perfume Genius heart-on-the-slab trembles, on which the affecting intimacy is reminiscent of Antony Hegarty.
‘Too Bright’ isn't quite as tough as Hadreas made it seem. Rather, it's a collection of enthralling confessionals where stabs of bleakness mean that heavy bleeding dominates.
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