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Put Your Back N 2 It CD

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 21 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B006GH6HSK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,729 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

2012 album from Seattle singer/songwriter Mike Hadreas AKA Perfume Genius. His jarring 2010 debut album, Learning, was called "an album of rare, redemptive beauty: one of the most uniquely endearing and quietly forceful debut albums of recent years." Put Your Back N 2 It is much more universal, addressing intimacy, power, family, secrecy, and hope not just through his impressionistic lyrics, but the music itself, which is as lush as Learning was stark. Recorded by Drew Morgan and John Goodmanson, this sonically beautiful, more approachable album will connect with more people directly.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa7a91c0c) out of 5 stars 27 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c4a63c) out of 5 stars Put your heart into it Feb. 21 2012
By D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With a debut as incredible as "Learning", I had no doubt that Perfume Genius would continue to do good things. But when I first heard "All Waters", I wasn't prepared for it - I was amazed by its beauty. And then I saw the video for "Hood" - amazed, again. And today, finally hearing the whole album for the first time (and second, and third), I'm in awe of this man's talent yet again. Mike Hadreas makes the music that I need in my darkest hours, to make me feel like I'm not alone. His gorgeous piano playing, delicate voice, and exquisite songwriting all have the power to break and heal hearts. It's a rare gift to be able to make music that truly connects with a listener's emotions, but he somehow does it with every song that he writes. I can't imagine there will be a finer album this year.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c19fd8) out of 5 stars A Soaring Resilient Frailty March 4 2012
By Morgan J. Eaton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think all of us have been broken, sometime, somewhere, we've known what it is to feel unloved, unworthy, outcast. And some of us have a keen sense of the daily pain of growing up in the dark. It is from this void that the subtle beautiful echo of Perfume Genius has emerged.

The intricacies of love, desire, coupling, and fulfillment flow like a crushed velvet tide washing up on battered shores. So fragile yet so uplifting, the artist has spun silk around our hearts embracing our sadness, our disenfranchised youth, the memory of a lover.

Subtle organic electronics paired with an angelic resonance akin to James Blake, Arthur Russell, or Julianna Barwick -- Perfume Genius will capture your every wish, fulfill it, empty your soul of its insecurities and then renew in a sensual catharsis. An achievement of pure fragrant genius.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c302dc) out of 5 stars A Shadow Of A Shadow Feb. 29 2012
By Kenneth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A friend of mine recently supported Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius) at a gig in Nottingham (England) and said his stage presence was shy and tentative yet somehow ineffably captivating. I wasn't suprised having listened to his 2010 debut learning which left me with pretty much the same impression, picturing a delicate flower composing harrowing confessionals, that were too intimate and emotive to ignore.

His sophomore album Put Your Back N 2 IT is equally beguiling and easily more sonically pleasing. The beautiful melodies are still there but he's obviously improved the fidelity losing the reverb and introducing drums and electronic synth which are used to brilliant effect, especially on single Hood. The song is initially reminiscent of Cat Stevens Tea For The Tillerman with the terse song length and Hadreas's voice syncopating between spartan piano chords. But it takes a more intense turn halfway in, with drum builds and cymbal crashes accompanying the melody giving the song more power and resonance.

Take Me Home is another song that benefits from the extra instrumentation on display here, played in what i think is waltz time with the drums and effects wonderfully supporting Hadreas's voice and piano, providing some much needed levity to an otherwise sombre song about prostitution. Almost every song on this album sounds gorgeous. Whether they feel elegiac or optimistic, Perfume's beautiful voice and lovely piano paired with the new instrumentation are a perfect combination.

The only criticism (granted it's a minor one) is the short length of the songs on the record. Most come in at about 2 and a half minutes and they all make an impression, but perhaps fall short of being truely indelible because of how fleeting they sometimes feel. Almost like a beautiful robin that has somehow found it's way into your bedroom but flies out again just as your about to get close to it. Perfume probably intended them to feel that way, having our undivided attention for a few chilling moments whilst leaving the listener wanting to hear more of his story the next time round. Nevertheless it's a special album that comes highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c48ac8) out of 5 stars There is love with no hiding March 14 2012
By Douglas King - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"No secret, no matter how nasty/can poison your voice or keep you from joy" sings Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, on "Normal Song," the second track off an album full of raw, powerful and often harrowing songs.

"Put Your Back N 2 It" is a sonic portrait of a brave soul ... willing to put his feelings, his experiences, his love, his pain and his humanity out into the world in an unfiltered way that very few people probably ever have the guts to. The songs on this album are fairly short, featuring mostly simple arrangements and straightforward vocals. However, this only adds to the emotional punch the songs pack.

"There is love with no hiding," Mike proclaims on the album's title track, and on "Dark Parts," an aching love song, he offers "I will take the dark part of your heart/into my heart." If this album has a theme, it seems to be unconditional acceptance ... of yourself, of others, and of life.

Recently, a handful of pop stars have released songs that are supposed to inspire LGBT youth (Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", Katy Perry's "Firework", et al). On "All Waters," when Mike sings "When I can take your hand/on any crowded street/and hold you close to me/with no hesitation," it's the most resonant, powerful, and political song about the experience of an LGBT person I've ever heard.

The only other artist I can think of that I can possibly compare Perfume Genius to is the late Elliot Smith, who also crafted simple, powerful, heartbreaking songs. While there is despair in Perfume Genius' songs for sure, there is also a resiliency perhaps lacking in Smith's work. "I will carry on with grace," Mike sings in "No Tear," and I believe him.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c48960) out of 5 stars The Dress Stays On Feb. 7 2013
By S. Lilly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With his debut album, "Learning", Mike Hadreas (a/k/a Perfume Genius) may have raised the bar for what some have sneeringly termed Music To Slit Your Wrists By, and "Put Your Back N 2 It" shows that the razor will probably stay out. While the records seem to have been written as a template for the outcast, especially gay teens (the first album's title track brought the chilling line "No one will answer your prayers / until you take off that dress", possibly resonating with every misunderstood drag aficionado ever), both content and production go far beyond that demographic. Hadreas takes the listener via the sometimes alarmingly direct route into his dreams and disappointments and the sadness that happens when the former are eclipsed by the latter.

The production both fits and transcends the subject matter - the sparse piano-and-voice arrangements get subtle, stirring pushes from string washes and ambient atmospherics. Only on "No Tear" does it become gimmicky, with slowed-down backing vocals sounding more cheesy than innovative.

The songs themselves are so raw as to feel tentative in places, like demos that were too intense to initially release. Hadreas longs for the chance to hold hands in public and other denied pleasures that cut far deeper than the sex that most emo-range performers long for - in Hadreas' world, the hurdles that lead to that haven't even been seen yet. The basics are still forming, and you can't help wonder if he'll make it to anything carnal, or if so, will it be fruition or escape?

As if to sum up the emotional possibilities, the album's single "Hold" featured a YouTube-banned video showing Hadreas and gay porn actor Arpad Miklos in an underwear-clad celebration of what could be, from the simplicity of combing someone's hair to the complexities of embrace. Miklos' suicide in February 2013 adds an unintended chill to those in the know, and a warning to those in the dark - while the you-sang-my-life crowd may relate to these songs, the songs will not save them by themselves.

Indeed, for the most fragile psyches among us, listening to "Put Your Back N 2 It" and, say, an Antony and the Johnsons album in the same evening could result in a tendency to want to check out this Miklos territory. Such are the dangers of being honest, and this is the most brutally honest record you may hear in a very long time.

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