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Learning CD

10 customer reviews

Price: £9.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Amazon's Perfume Genius Store

Music

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Biography

Perfume Genius - New Album out now.

Over the course of two astonishing albums, Perfume Genius, aka Seattle native Mike Hadreas, cemented his place as a singer-songwriter of rare frankness, creating songs that, while achingly emotional, offered empathy and hope, rather than any judgment or handwringing. Sparse, gorgeous and with Hadreas’ quavering vocals often only accompanied by ... Read more in Amazon's Perfume Genius Store

Visit Amazon's Perfume Genius Store
for 3 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Jun. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Organs
  • ASIN: B003L1UWOY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,924 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Learning
2. Lookout, Lookout
3. Mr Peterson
4. Gay Angels
5. You Won't B Here
6. Write to Your Brother
7. No Problem
8. When
9. Perry
10. Never Did

Product Description

BBC Review

To attract attention in a crowded marketplace, the most common practice is to make a lot of noise. In the music industry, this means as much pre-release hype as possible. It's long been a predictable process–even the outsider can see that if Band X is being raved about rapturously in January, their June-released record is likely to find favour in those same right places.

Which is why albums like The xx's debut of last year stand out so brilliantly. It caught the listener unaware without jumping them, creeping into the conscious over the course of several plays. Sure, there was support in the press; but it didn't shoot into the public sphere immediately, and steady exposure has given it a long life few could have truthfully foreseen. It has, quietly, become something of a modern classic.

Which brings us to Perfume Genius, aka Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas. Learning, his debut album, sounds nothing like the work of The xx, but operates on a similar level of stealth, its slight arrangements–often just piano and Sufjan Stevens-echoing vocals–initially offering little to latch onto, but proving incredibly moving when given the time to sink deep inside. And here they bury their heads, taking refuge from the ills that have informed them. This is a sad record, but one where pain is articulated with an acute beauty that glosses somewhat over emotional cracks, mercifully without such heavy handedness that compelling catharsis can't take flight.

It is staggeringly sparse and haunting, and immediate replays are regularly required to process further what's just been heard, to (try to) make sense of a lyric seemingly thrown away in the context of the whole piece. On Mr. Petersen, for example, a song about a teacher Hadreas seems to have had a relationship with: "He made me a tape of Joy Division / He told me there was part of him missing / When I was 16... He jumped off a building." It's a shocker, a reveal that is as crushing of image as it is damaged of delivery.

These moments, and there are several, are truly disarming. They are insights so personal that to listen in almost feels wrong. Though deeply melancholic, so sublime are these ten spectral soundtracks to the minutiae of a modern lover's tribulations that their sorrow is translated into something more uplifting than unsettling. Optimism might seem in short supply, but songs these perfectly formed can't be crafted without the promise of a little light at the end of the tunnel.

--Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heather on 28 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This lo-fi gem supports the old adage that sometimes less is more. Sparse piano arrangements are often the only accompaniment to the bruised, vulnerable vocals of Mike Hadreas. Short and sweet at under half an hour, this in no way detracts from the slow-burning power of the record. It's as lo-fi and intimate as Roman Candle by Elliott Smith, or Nick Drake's Pink Moon, without being guitar-based. There is no intricate musicianship here, just dreamy, wispy songs with simple chord progressions and thoughtful lyrics.
These are songs as pretty as butterfly wings but just as delicate. Standout track Mr Peterson tells a tragic tale delivered with gentle warmth - achingly sad yet somehow uplifting. And that is the genius of Mike Hadreas. Fans of Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Gravenhurst and Nick Drake should investigate further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Perfume Genius is Mike Hadreas and he comes from Seattle.
'Learning' is his debut album and it is simply marvellous.
Not since Polly Harvey's 2007 album 'White Chalk' have I
heard anything quite so bleakly beautiful (perhaps Anja
Plaschg's 2009 release 'Lovetune For Vacuum' is a close second).
The ten songs in this collection rise from the ether into the
listening world tentatively and in ghostly raiments. They are
bruised and blistered and blindingly beautiful.

With little more than a shakey upright piano and a fine ear for
subtle sonic decoration Mr Hadreas makes big magic from small things.
His fragile and ephemeral voice sits way back in the mix where it
moves us, scares us and occasionally thrills us. Neutrality is not
an option. This music demands our closest attention from top to tail.

The sublime harmonies of 'Gay Angels'; the stripped-down candour
of the startling miniature 'Write To Your Brother'; the rich
incandescent wrap-around chords of 'No Problem'; the whistful,
broken-down and reconstructed 60's ballad 'When'; the essence of
loss and regret made flesh in the dreamlike multi-layered final track
'Never Did'. Mr Hadreas' musical imagination is as idiosyncratic as it
is totally, magically, heart-pumpingly alive! Transcendent stuff!

Essential.
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to agree with other reviewers in stating that Perfume Genius has created a beautiful, haunting album.

I came to this from a music magazine recommendation and I am so glad I did. I checked out some live tracks on YouTube first and I have to say that the live tracks I heard (Never Did, Learning and Mr Peterson) seemed to resonate with emotion and power. This comes through on this album, but I felt this to be slightly more reserved and staid in comparison. It is my own fault for hearing such sublime live versions first, I know.

Saying that the tracks mentioned above are real stand-out tracks and the pared back piano and simple lyrics manage to hit home immediately. This is a relatively short album, but it is perfectly crafted and you feel it affect you as it progresses until you want to hit that play button at the end and revel in it all over again.

This is one of those album that you'll either love or hate and I'm glad to say I love it. It is haunting, intelligent and beautiful, which are all things I adore in my music. Check this out, but be warned, get the album first and then check out the live clips online. It's the best way round to do it.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
For me, the purchase of this album was a case of coming back to fill in the gaps after finding myself well and truly captivated by Put Your Back N 2 It, Mike Hadreas' / Perfume Genius' magnificent follow-up album.

And how glad am I that I came exploring? This is a tremendously comely and intimate collection of doleful, yet unexpectedly uplifting, hymns to life in the rear-view mirror. What a true delight to discover such a bewitching collection of songs that haven't been (over) produced to within an inch of recognisability; so had it not been for buying Put Your Back N 2 It, I would probably be sat here telling you that this is the best album I have purchased in many a long year .. but as it is I will have to settle for telling you that it is a work of genius that is bettered only by its follow-up.
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By Mr. C. Victor on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Plenty of emotion, very heartfelt. Brilliant delivery by an excellent artist. Seeing the artist live makes a big impression, i would check out his live performances online.
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