Perfume Genius - No Shape
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2017 Ratings: #34 / 880
Year End Rank: #14
User Score
Based on 983 ratings
2017 Ratings: #10
Liked by 23 people
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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.


‘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.

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.
The 405

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Pretty Much Amazing

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

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.
The Guardian

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

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.


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

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.


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.


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.

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. 

The Needle Drop

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

The Observer

Here, we have Hadreas’s desire to transcend his body and self – the no shape of the title – and glorious, inventive, shape-shifting music to match.

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.

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.

Rolling Stone

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

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.
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.

Loud and Quiet get the fuck outta here

EDIT: Still think this is a gorgeous album, just not as in love with it now opposed to when it first came out.
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.
At the heart of the explosion was hidden the peace.

Mike Hadreas in his room, he's bored. It has become difficult to be bored and Mike knows this all too well, having spent a good part of his twenties struggling with alcohol, coke and meth, then the rest of his twenties struggling to stay sober on his own. So, taking advantage of the windfall, he repaints the walls to create an Amazonian decor and disguises himself, shirt in leather pants with his left leg open. All he has to do is pose and ... read more
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
Perfume Genius implements a grander, bolder sound on "No Shape". While this gorgeous new direction helps his sound feel more optimistic, the sadness still looms. It tackles upon the subjects cemented in his other projects in a different manner. Mike Hadreas tries shedding hope on others who dare to stand in the face of adversity ("Just Like Love") and also shed light on the subject of religion forbidding two people of the same sex to love each other. These are still very ... read more
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Track List

  1. Otherside
  2. Slip Away
  3. Just Like Love
  4. Go Ahead
  5. Valley
  6. Wreath
  7. Every Night
  8. Choir
  9. Die 4 You
  10. Sides
  11. Braid
  12. Run Me Through
  13. Alan
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Added on: March 21, 2017