- No Shape

Perfume Genius - No Shape
CRITIC SCORE
84
Based on 25 reviews
2017 Rank: #21 / 572
USER SCORE
84
Based on
371 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny

Perfume Genius’ magic lies in transforming struggle into folklore, mythologizing a daily endurance against patriarchal bullshit. These are vital hymns to unite and strengthen.

100
DIY

‘No Shape’ is a more inward-gazing masterclass in kitschy indulgence and raw honesty alike; a bold, brash record that veers from shrieking gusts of operatic frenzy to crackling emotion, without batting an eyelid.

100
NOW Magazine
Hadreas started out making fragile lo-fi piano ballads about suicide, trauma and sexual abuse, and with each album his confidence as a singer and adventurousness as a songwriter/arranger have unfurled, all leading to this, his most vivid, joyous release to date.
95
The 405

Where Too Bright was often cold, stark, mechanical and dark as tar, No Shape is warm, technicolour, alive and filled with light.

90
The Line of Best Fit

With strident chords, spiralling melodies, and a shiver inducing delivery, No Shape might spend a lot of its time searching, but in being open about that the record presents Perfume Genius at his most realised.

90
God Is in the TV

Just like on, Too Bright, this album is another leap forward, only this time round he hasn’t just outdone himself, he’s outdone everyone else. No Shape is an astonishing record.

90
Crack Magazine

No Shape is Mike Hadreas’ fourth – and arguably greatest – album as Perfume Genius. It sees the Seattle songwriter explore themes of spirituality, religion and intangible deities, across a mesmeric, drifting soundscape which expands robustly and takes new forms.

88
Pitchfork
Mike Hadreas’ fourth record is pure decadence. It’s his most realized album yet, a tender and transcendental protest record of love and devotion.
83
Consequence of Sound

No Shape may feel, to some listeners, less cohesive than past Perfume Genius records, but it makes up for that with endless inventiveness and daring passion, and it indicates that Hadreas is a musician who is only growing more vital as he develops and expands his sound.

83
A.V. Club

The new Perfume Genius often brings to mind the sort of music one listens to in a bedroom while fantasizing about escape. It has moments of populist ambition and self-consciously arty experimentation, and it’s a credit to Hadreas and producer Blake Mills that its 13 tracks sound as seamless and cohesive as they do.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

No Shape feels more celebratory than any Perfume Genius record to date; that celebration often runs deliciously wild.

82
GIGsoup
On ‘No Shape’, Perfume Genius sounds both barmy and operatic, sumptuous and expansive, without sacrificing any of his trademark tenderness; his wistful creations suit this epic pomp and grandeur.
80
The Guardian

No Shape sounds like a unique talent coming into full bloom. However weird it may seem, he’s here.

80
Under The Radar

There are simultaneous moments of pure beauty and pain, as there have been throughout Perfume Genius' work. Only now perhaps the songs don't search for beauty in suffering, but in vitality despite it.

80
Exclaim!

No Shape, his fourth and most immediate album, embraces the lush orchestration that he's previously only teased.

80
Drowned in Sound

With such a range of musical stylings on one record, No Shape occasionally sounds more like a collection of songs than a unified album, at times this can be a bit stifling to the listener ... But these are minor flaws in a record with many a moment of gorgeousness.

80
AllMusic

Though No Shape shows how much his music has expanded since the Learning days, it also proves he hasn't lost any of his ability to connect with listeners. Instead, it reveals him as a sonic adventurer and truth teller who's made some of his most compulsively listenable music.

80
musicOMH

With his third record he edged slowly towards the mainstream, but with No Shape, he might just have snuck in. Now sober and settled down, it feels like this is his natural home; his previous records were part of a cathartic process, almost medicinal, to help him reach this point.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

These pop-forward moments are frontloaded on No Shape, extravagant and baroque. The soaring production value is not accompanied by conceptual upending or reinvention, but rather extends into a grand sort of sequel vision of Perfume Genius. 

80
The Needle Drop

No Shape is Perfume Genius' grandest and most eclectic musical statement to date.

70
Clash
Key to Hadreas’ appeal is his ability to sing a refrigerator manual and probably bring you to tears. ... Overall ‘No Shape’ sees a new exciting chapter for Perfume Genius, one that’s happy to fully throw off the image of the tortured artist for brighter, bolder entity. The future looks a little brighter.
70
PopMatters

As its title suggests, No Shape is playfully elusive, and the album is often content simply to create beauty while remaining agnostic about what lies beneath its surface. The result is an ironically more luminous and even joyful listen than the darker Too Bright.

70
Rolling Stone

His fourth Perfume Genius LP ... by his standards feels startlingly optimistic, with pop and rock tropes queered into dreamlike scenarios.

70
Northern Transmissions
While there’s so much about this album that’s amazingly fearless and beautiful, these are sparing moments in a grander, and not overly cohesive piece.
40
Loud and Quiet

I shouldn’t have first listened to Perfume Genius’ fourth album with a hangover. In this depleted state all ‘No Shape’ does is push the burgeoning headache around my brain, very slowly, producing a sensation like thin metallic worms boring right into the grey matter.

May 2, 2017*
scott96k
88
Loud and Quiet get the fuck outta here

http://soulfeederweb.com/2017/05/perfume-genius-no-shape-album-review/
Mar 26, 2017*
Candas
92
While I was listening to No Shape I felt like every negative thing in the world has gone away, I felt an unexplainable feeling that made me so happy and optimistic about everything. His voice is simply enchanting as always and the instrumental is breathtaking. This album sounds so glamorous while also remaining experimental. String arrangements are absolutely phenomenal. It reminds me of Hounds of Love and I'm pretty sure you will think the same when you hear the album. I can feel that this is ... read more
May 9, 2017
lemuriams
94
PERFUME GENIUS CREATED A MASTERPIECE - Previous albums are great, but this one is full of variety - You can hear the inspiration of Arca, Fka Twigs, Kate Bush Bjork Aphex Twin and the whole trip hop world, but he connects these worlds to the whole. EVERYTHING IS IN THIS ALBUM IS FRESH AS NEVER - there is no copying of patterns here, just creating a new one.
Choir sets new roads in music.

I'm afraid no one will break this album this year, because Perfume Genius has reached the heaven.
May 5, 2017
tinymusiccritic
95
I wrote the review for The 405, so my thoughts on the album are in there (see below to save you clicking):

Mike Hadreas’ fourth album under his Perfume Genius moniker is his most generous yet, in both runtime and open-heartedness. It marks the latest bold step in an artist’s evolution from modest beginnings in the world of lo-fi, intensely personal songwriting to his current standing as a creator of grandly ambitious, unapologetically kitsch art-pop. It also completes an emotional ... read more
May 5, 2017
FearFlour
100
Somehow this exceeded my expectations. All of them. There was not a track or even moment when I felt a even a shred of disappointment. Every track is fucking gorgeous.

The sound is unique, while still elaborating and improving on his previous work. It's incredible to look back at his first two albums after listening to this.

With four listens I still feel like I have to listen to this more. I might adjust my score but for now I think it's pretty safe to say that I'll only like it more with ... read more
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Added on: March 21, 2017