Artist: Perfume Genius
Album: Put Your Back N 2 It
Genres: piano, ambient, roots (apparently that’s a something, I don’t know)
A piano album was about the last thing I expected from someone who on the first glimpse seems to be into dark drone related genres. But regardless, I rejoice a little inside, good piano music has a very special soft spot in my heart.
From the beginning of the first track I knew my regular speakers wouldn’t cut it – for piano music, anything that’s not Sony’s noise-cancelling IEMs is sub par. The second I tune the rest of the world out I notice details I missed out on originally. Subtle waves and scratches give the opening track a nice sepia feeling. Reminds me of my old place by the railway so it does something most tracks can’t do to me – making an emotional connection in a minute on the first listening.
I would definitely say this is the kind of music you have to be in the mood for. Or rather, not be in the wrong mood. It’s calm and soothing.
I can imagine anyone into ambient music enjoying the opening track of this album.
[quote]Coming into the second track the surroundings have changed completely. “Mumford and the Sons singing slow songs to lost love” crosses my mind. In all the best possible ways. The singer’s voice has good flavor and is enjoyable, it vibrates brilliantly with the backing female voice.[/quote]
The third track starts off slowly with atmosphere similar to the previously mentioned. Until, as a knife, enters another backing voice, a bit rough at first, but as a great introduction to the war-esque drum rolls about to enter in the background. After a while the backing grows on you and by the last reverb you welcome it as an old friend, carefully closing off the track.
As the fourth track begins similar to the third I begin to wonder if this is what will follow for the rest of the remaining of the twelve tracks. Only to be, again pleasantly surprised as the atmosphere changes once more just when you’ve started to feel homely with the previous one. “The Gladiator” closing track accompanied by a piano comes to my head at this point, imagining golden fields as the short track fades out.
[quote]By this point, of course, I catch myself thinking whether this review is turning out to be too long but decide to go on either ways.[/quote]
Track five enters freshly, coming from the countryside to the longing city, dusty staging included. Melancholic is a word I would use to describe this album if only it was sad. But somehow, regardless of all the longing themes entwined in this album, it manages to keep a very hoping outlook and feel. Echoing off into track six, I notice the songs to be rather short, yet very striking. Hence the twelve tracks, I figure.
Listening to the sixth, I can’t be more thankful for picking the time for listening to this album: late at night, alone, but not unaccompanied. This album was crafted carefully for taking the time to think by yourself, about things that matter. About this album, for example.
And just once you’ve thought about turning your mind to the sad days left behind, enters track seven, concentrating energy in it from the very first beats so densely you can’t bare to wait for it to evolve. A track I can image manypost-rock fans enjoying regardless it not being directly related to their favorite genre – the build-up is great and passionate. By the moment it cuts off I grab for my player desperately thinking “This can’t be it, you can not stop now!” And luckily, it doesn’t. It comes down, takes you by the river, and talks to your heart.
The eight song returns to the great atmospheric feel from the beginning of the album. A little thank-you goes out to my audio set-up for the good performance it provides, giving the music all the depth it asks for. Luckily, loudness wars have stayed far from this album. You can feel your senses tingling as new motives vibrate in and out of the tune.
Number nine starts off with, I’m pretty sure, the same chord as “The Racing Rats” by the Editors, which I find pleasantly familiar. Onward, the track remains pleasantly simplistic at first, providing good contrast with the previous multi leveled track, only to suddenly incorporate upbeat changes to raise your pulse levels to a high, leaving you waiting as the music suddenly fades away.
By track number 10 I’m certain this album will stay in my playlist for those special moments for a very long time. Heck, I was certain multiple songs ago, I just didn’t have the time to think about it. The tenth gives you a moment to breathe and recover, carrying pleasant airy themes. Slowly growing in depth, the track matures as accompanying a story of a lifetime, brilliantly shining in its simplistic highlights.
Track eleven starts off somewhat busy – giving me a reminder that the album is already soon to be over. I would consider complaining, but there’s even too much of a good thing. This album knows well how to keep the listener interested, providing multitude of different settings, without brutally cutting, but instead, constantly flowing and ever changing. It also knows how to keep limit, not abusing good motives and fading tracks out just when the feeling is right. The closing track of the album starts off childishly blue-eyed, looking on to a brighter future, despite what ever bad may be left behind, serving as a great ending to a great masterpiece.
I would recommend this album to fanciers of the post-rock genre who are looking for something milder for their days.
To fans of the ambient who are for a change looking for something that addresses them more directly.
To anyone who appreciates good singing and piano.
And on top of everything else, I would recommend this album to anyone looking for something soothing, yet not saddening to listen to during the late hours.
And, just in case it wasn’t clear already: thank you very much for the recommendation, Muteant, staying up late to review this album in one straight listen was well worth the time.