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Learning [CD]

Perfume Genius Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 9.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Perfume Genius is Mike Hadreas, a Seattle songwriter whose jarring 2010 debut album, Learning, was called “an album of rare, redemptive of the most uniquely endearing and quietly forceful debut albums of recent years” by Drowned In Sound, and established him as one of the most singular songwriters today.
The bulk of Learning sprung from a time of self-imposed ... Read more in Amazon's Perfume Genius Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Learning + Put Your Back N 2 It + Too Bright
Price For All Three: 29.83

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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 (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,074 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Learning 2:430.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Lookout, Lookout 2:550.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mr Peterson 2:500.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Gay Angels 4:030.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. You Won't B Here 1:360.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Write To Your Brother 1:500.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. No Problem 2:080.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. When 3:300.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Perry 3:400.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Never Did 3:220.79  Buy MP3 

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

3 star
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting despite the sadness 28 Aug 2010
By Heather
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven Scent 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!

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4.0 out of 5 stars Chilled 3 Dec 2012
By Martin
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Pretty good really, very very chilled music but that's what you're looking for when you buy this! Also very good musically.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt 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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5.0 out of 5 stars A true delight 9 May 2012
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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