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Your Back N 2 It
Gorgeous piano pop exudes quiet power
Ed Power, 05 Mar 2012
You don’t associate Perfume Genius’ introverted piano musings with headline gobbling controversy, but his second album has been preceded by deafening levels of bru-ha-ha. The catalyst was YouTube’s censoring of a short promo trailer for the record, on the basis that its depiction of man-on-man love promoted ‘mature sexual themes’. Thankfully Matador pulled the promo, thus saving western civilisation from imminent moral corruption!
While the actual LP is nowhere near as dramatic, it nonetheless exudes a quiet power. Singing in a whispery quasi-lisp, Hadreas is a slight, sweet presence – he reminds you of the kid who gets beaten up every lunch-hour but never cries out or runs for help. The immediate stand-out is single ‘Hood’, a dirge that buries its bleakness beneath sugar-glaze melodies. Elsewhere, ‘Awol Marine’ suggests a quietly lustful Sufjan Stevens and ‘Take Me Home’ is Rufus Wainwright bruised and lying in a gutter. The overall message is tremendously empowering: the world may spit in your face and jab you with insults but if you are sure of who you are on the inside, it can never take away your dignity.