Written by Maria Arroyo
The latest album from Perfume Genius, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, is out now. Under the facade is artist Mike Hadreas, from Seattle, Washington, where he started his career over 12 years ago.
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately features many people from producer Blake Millers, to musicians Jim Keltner, Pino Palladino, Matt Chamberlin, and Phoebe Bridgers.
“The album is masculine and rooted, with decidedly American Musical influences,” Hadreas shares. Many claim this is the most dynamic album he’s released thus far, so let’s see what they mean.
The album opens with the song “Whole Life,” which creates this other dimension-like feeling in his song. “It’s like a dream…” depicts this song perfecting. It’s just the right amount of emotional and ethereal to bring you into the song.
“Without You” has amazingly laid out lyrics that create a catchy hook, and brings a relatable aspect for those who aren’t familiar with Genius’ music.
Similar to the first song is “Describe,” but with a darker foundation. Production-wise, the song is quite strong, so all of the different layers that make up the song are all clear enough to appreciate. There are moments of intensity and serenity that add more depth to the song and make it more enjoyable to listen to, and that is executed as close to perfect as one could get.
“Leave” has a wonderful string and choir arrangement that is absolutely breathtaking. It’s calm and serene and it’s a great listen to settle your mind. “Your Body Changes Everything” delivers a similar, beautiful execution found in the rest of the album. “On the Floor” changes directions and brings in a funky rhythm and an upbeat feeling. This side seems to be hidden away, but the unique vocal aspects in Perfume Genius’ voice remain present.
“Moonbend” has very striking and haunting harmonies that saturate the song. While there are few layers in this song, it remains just as impactful as the rest of them. This track creates a trance-like atmosphere that washes over the listeners, myself included, that brings you deeper into the environment that Perfume Genius has so exquisitely created.
The next couple of songs “Just a Touch” and “Nothing at All” both play into this sexual nature that reveals itself throughout the album. He’s able to combine feelings of seduction and provocation with a mature and celestial-like sound to bring forth the perfect creation.
“One More Try” and “Some Dream” bring the listeners back into a calming mindset as a pretext for the closing of the album. The string and piano arrangement in “Some Dream” is beautifully done and the lullaby sounding song “One More Try” works well by being placed next to one another.
Last, but most definitely not least, is the closing song “Borrowed Light.” Simply put, “Borrowed Light” has a very powerful lyrical opening with a beautifully calm ending and creates an ideal feeling of closure for the album.
Perfume Genius‘ Set My Heart On Fire Immediately has truly put a different kind of fire within me. The exploration of seduction, memories, and the body are married very well with one another. This is said to be his most dynamic release yet, and I would have to agree without a doubt.
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