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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Perfume Genius - "No Shape" 2 X Vinyl, LP, 2017 (Matador)

It's rare that I comment on a brand new album and artist here, but Perfume Genius' "No Shape" is pure ear candy.  Mike Hadreas simply has that "it" quality.   The way pop music works is that it is always reminding you of the past, and there are traces of Bowie's "Hunky Dory" but now I'm picking up a touch of Prince, especially in the Prince-like title "Die 4 You."  Soulful, smokey, and of course seductive, Hadreas has the ability to convey a world of pain that turns into pleasure. 

There is a minimal sensibility in Hadreas' music, but this album opens up to other textures.  The strings (not sure if they are real instrumentation are not) lurks like a creature from the deepest ocean, and about to nab the swimmer above.  The aural landscape is dense.   I have listened to this album on a streaming device, and that medium really doesn't capture the tone that one hears on vinyl.  Producer Blake Mills and Hadreas made a thick soup in this mix, and one can take a spoon and choose whatever taste they wish.   It's there in the deep textures of the mix.  

Hadreas is a throwback to the image of the glam gay orientated 1970s.  Not in a retro sense, but as a reminder of another world besides the overtures to the straight or conservative world that the gay community has orientated itself towards in recent times.   A beautiful man making haunting ballads and noise at the same time.  I'm a fan.