Set My Heart on Fire Immediately

Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2020 Ratings: #3 / 819
Year End Rank: #6
User Score
2020 Ratings: #13
Liked by 224 people
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His new album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, is the next in a long line of superb albums. Like No Shape, it retains rockist sensibilities, and the ear for radio play. Like Too Bright, it alternates violently between tenderness and alienation. Like all the great albums, it feels like it was written directly to, for, or about you – the listener.


It’s an absolute tour de force, a record full of drama and emotion and pleasure and pain. If this is Perfume Genius’ quest for sensation, then his latest is absolutely fizzing with it.

The Guardian
Whatever he’s doing, the results are uniformly fantastic: rich, fascinating and moving, packed with gorgeous melodies and arrangements that feel alive, constantly writhing into unexpected new shapes.
The Independent

With trusted producer Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Laura Marling), the artist born Mike Hadreas ensures that each and every note on his new album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, lands with devastating precision. These 13 tracks are finely wrought works of art that draw as much influence from Purcell and Mozart as they do scuzzy Nineties post-punk.

This might be Hadreas’ best album yet. It’s brave, with new ideas and emotions. A beautiful blend of poetry, melodies and lyrics that subvert modern masculinity, it’s an album for our times.
The Telegraph

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is the most accessible album from Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) to date, without sacrificing any of his otherworldly strangeness and rich emotionalism.

The Irish Times
Perfume Genius is ultimately a pop star; a clever, singular, and considered one, in an over-saturated, under-stimulating landscape, his sensibility ignites.
The Line of Best Fit

Despite Hadreas’ growth as an artist and as a man, the fifth Perfume Genius album functions in a similar way to the second; a singular and complete photograph of a mindset and time, with a strain of sadness at its core. Hadreas may be uncompromising but stubbornness has its rewards: few albums feel as distinct or as complete as his.

Loud and Quiet

In reality, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately burns with passion – desirous of musical exploration at every turn, but more crucially, driven by a craving to wrestle with issues bigger than himself.


Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is an enormous, cavernous record – the kind that invites you to sit inside and let your fears and triumphs echo against its glittering walls.

Northern Transmissions

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is attentively and intelligently constructed. At the same time, the album doesn’t feel overthought or overly intricate. It’s Hadreas’ personal, idiosyncratic take on pop music, but it’s also one that’s easy to appreciate.

Beats Per Minute

Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, for its part, feels like a culmination and natural progression of all that has come before.

Crack Magazine
What Perfume Genius barters in is high camp of the grandest order: the pain, the love, the sorrow, the absurdity of the human condition laid bare for all to see, through the lens of someone whose poetry is forever intertwined with their identity.

All the nuances of desire that Hadreas explores on Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately enhance the individuality of each song, as well as his own individuality -- and as he honors every part of his music and himself, he gives listeners another rich, densely packed album to savor.

Mike Hadreas’ fifth album glides between sublime melodies and grimy, guttural dissonance, embracing the joys and burdens of the human body and its innumerable, intangible yearnings.
No Ripcord
It weaves together a mess of influences to create a record that is his most ambitious, forward-thinking, and jaw-droppingly crafted yet. This feels like an all-encompassing record, telling his own personal story but also finding, mostly, the right balance between what worked so well throughout his discography so far.

There's only so much you can say about how Set My Heart sounds. It's excellent. I don't know how it could really be better. Sometimes melodies will crawl out of nowhere and make you think, "is this the catchiest thing Perfume Genius has ever written?"

Under The Radar

Set My Heart On Fire Immediately may be indulgent, but it is intoxicating in its sprawling approach. It is openly expressive and emotional, as we follow Hadreas through fantastic highs and dark and dissociative lows. Yet, even when the album is at its most ethereal or chaotic Hadreas elevates these tracks and creates a captivating sense of presence.

Louder Than War

There’s no doubt that Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is a tremendous achievement.

Disjointed? Slightly. But who cares. He’s conjured something mischievous and joyful. A record that feels like it’s been beamed in from a distant star, sounding something like a near and possible future.

His effort to overcome the body-brain gulf is more apparent than ever throughout No Shape follow-up Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, on which Hadreas loses control of not just his body, but his heart. As ever, his voice and music contort and warp in tandem with his anatomy.

Ultimately Hadreas has, with this album, proven his own hypothesis: you don’t necessarily have to blow things up to move forward.
The Sydney Morning Herald
The record overall warrants favourable comparison with one-time Hadreas collaborator Weyes Blood and early Yeasayer, and is a gloriously realised work of delicacy and intimacy.
Spectrum Culture

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately may be more of a slow burn than a raging inferno, but it still glows with warmth and light, encouraging others to set their own hearts ablaze.


Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is an important album for Hadreas because it opens so many doors for the future – but if he really wants to set our hearts on fire, I’d advise him to once again unleash the bombast.

Rolling Stone

These are age-old ideas, but they don’t feel that way when he’s singing them. It’s par for the course for an artist who specializes in embodying pop archetypes, and making them new again.

The Needle Drop

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately covers even more aesthetic ground than No Shape did, only occasionally coming across as disjointed.

Q Magazine
The combination of doleful beauty and violent emotion that makes Hadreas's work so extraordinary is never hard to find.

True original hits new peak on fiercely eclectic fifth.

[A small aside to thank you very much for the 500 followers !! and especially for all the support and encouragement, thank you for everything !!]

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately has the appearance of a sober record, especially if you look at its cover, in reality it's perhaps his most emotional and profound album to date. God knows that he had already got us used to setting the bar very high.

That's it, here we are. It's neither a mirage, nor a bad surprise, it's Set My Heart on Fire ... read more
Self-love over self-hatred.

From the depressive, emotional instability of "Learning" to pure pop grandeur, "Set My Heart on Fire Immediately" plays out as not just another great Perfume Genius record, it's also an inspiring work of beauty. A continuation of growth for Mike Hadreas, a man gradually learning and overcoming the barriers of his identity and sexuality. Layered in confidence and elegance, the flower, alas, finds itself some more space to bloom in the ... read more

To my ears, Perfume Genius has always been a project that documented growth. Not only has each album dealt with Mike Hadreas’ identity and the experiences that built that identity, but each album has sonically and lyrically displayed a change in its creator. Listening all the way from the fractures of his trauma on Learning and Put Your Back N 2 It through the triumphant No Shape is one of the most beautiful journeys you could take with an artist from the last decade. That ... read more
It’s crazy how an album can be so beautiful that you are literally speechless after l is listening. I can’t even begin to describe how this made me feel. This is easily one of the best and most emotional records of the year!
« Elegance is an art, not a virtue. »

If there's something intimately disturbing about Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, since his begining ten years ago with "Learning" - a debut album full of minimalism, dried tears and bedroom confessions - it's the duality he uses to go from the softest violence to the most scathing caress, to wander from sad laughter to saving sobs, to make his femininity a strength and his masculinity a wound. In short, to cover his tracks like no ... read more
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Added on: February 25, 2020