Put Your Back N 2 It - MATADOR
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Laura Studarus on February 23, 2012
Has anyone seen Mike Hadreas and Sufjan Stevens in the same room? Hadreas’ second album as Perfume Genius does nothing to dissuade comparisons, both voice and imagery evoking a Seven Swans–era Stevens. But where the States-happy troubadour fell into orchestral opulence early on, Hadreas continues to opt for minimalism. The result is Put Your Back N 2 It—a delicate collection of near-gospel songs for the brokenhearted. His vocals still sit on the fringes of the indie quasi-R&B movement (Bon Iver, Active Child, et al.), however Hadreas’ haunting blend of music-box melodies and half-remembered hymns places him in a category more haunting—and far more flexible—than his pseudo-soul brothers. Summing a ghostly choir to “AWOL Marine”—a song of dandelion-like fragility—it’s a tear moment in the making. But when Hadreas laments, “I run my mouth like a fool,” with whispery piano and breathy guitar built to “Take Me Home”’s pounding refrain…oh lordy, you believe.