The new effort from Mike Hadreas, a.k.a. Perfume Genius, provides more of the emotionally charged singles he has produced in the past, but this time with a good deal of new sounds added to his usual sultry piano playing.
Too Bright immediately pulls you in with its moving highs and lows and Hadreas’s emotionally packed voice. Starting with the light opener “I Decline,” he invites you in and sets the stage for the album’s first single, “Queen.” A mixture of his soft voice and entrancing melodies, this song is a definite victory with its uplifting sound.
The album continues with piano-based songs until the fifth track, “My Body” brings in a sense of darkness. The deep notes and heavy moving beat cast a feeling of intimacy reminiscent of earlier Perfume Genius works.
A final screaming note sets the tone for the record’s second half; that same scream comes 40 seconds into the single “Grid,” just after Mike repeats the album’s opening statement: “I can see for miles.” Another highlight, the song gives a sense of anguish and revolt.
The album then takes an unexpected turn with “Longpig,” which starts out like something from an old science fiction piece. But by tying in clapping hands and Hadreas’ cool vocals, the track somehow doesn’t feel out of place. Another slow, heavy beat eases the record into a quiet closure.
It’s difficult to overstate the emotional intensity always brought to the table on any Perfume Genius release; on Too Bright, Hadreas offers even more to be captivated by.