Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
May 15, 2020
87
It's pretty easy to say at this point that Mike Hadreas is on the roll of his life. Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is his most pulsating and powerful release as Perfume Genius, with the intimacy that he often brings to an album dialed up even further than ever before.

The majority of his fifth studio album sets a far more subdued tone, but that doesn't mean that Hadreas is afraid to accelerate and see how far forward he can get. On the Floor has a dub-like guitar riff over groove-heavy bass, one of his most exhilarating tracks yet. Some Dream takes on a distorted and ripping sound by the halfway mark, giving the track a naturalistic build. The second track on the record, Describe, also features these distorted and fuzzy guitars even if Hadreas sings at a slow pace, nearly crossing into shoegaze territory with the setup of the song.

But the album far more frequently is featured by the calculated and cooling side of Hadreas, with ambient and atmospheric sounds shimmering under his harmonies. The whole thing is a soothing and spine tingling affair, with Hadreas closing the record with Borrowed Light, a track that perfectly encapsulates these distant sounds and shimmery vocal harmonies.

Perfume Genius is at a point of no return, continuing to excel when given the opportunity. The music across Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is glorious and dramatic as Hadreas is often, but the drama unfolds in perhaps his most diverse way. It is an essential album in a long string of essential albums from Perfume Genius, only promising his artful sound will keep spinning in new directions as his career develops.

Favorite track: On the Floor
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