Monday, September 24, 2012

I have grown weary on my own

The most recent Perfume Genius album, Put Your Back N 2 It, is the most affecting, fragile collection of songs that I've heard in a good long while. The simple piano parts paired with Mike Hadreas's frail, emotional voice feels like the musical offspring of Antony and the Johnson's nakedly emotional, soul-stirring themes of weakness and Seven Swans-era Sufjan Stevens's passionate beauty. Except while Sufjan was writing about the capital-L-Lord, Hadreas is writing anthems to a prostitute's john. That feels uneven, until you hear the lyrics to this song and realize that both are looking for salvation of some type. Hadreas sings "Take me home/tend to me/baby, lay me down easy/for I have grown weary on my own." Compare that to the Bible's Psalm 40:13: "Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me." And like both Antony and Sufjan, Hadreas seems to be shooting for that secret, angelic chord that Leonard Cohen immortalized. A breed of beauty that can only exist in giving one's self fully to another, be it God or man.


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