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. It’s all those whiny string sections and the plinky-plonky piano music.
Then again, maybe it’s not the hangover after all. This is an album that’s trying too hard to contrive depth. It improves with a second listen (I can just about bear ‘Every Night’, which has a melodic, cinematic quality and ‘Die 4 You’, which I imagine would work for the slow dance at an Emo wedding), but only slightly. There are tortured, drawn-out instrumentals, baffling pseudo intellectual lyrics and, on ‘Go Ahead’ (the worst track here) a vibrating helicopter sound that buzzes irritatingly in the background for 40 seconds in the middle of the song. I don’t know whether this is an attempt to produce sonic pleasure, and it could very well be it’s a move that works on some listeners, but it doesn’t do it for me.
Loud And Quiet needs your help
The COVID-19 crisis has cut off our advertising revenue stream, which is how we’ve always funded how we promoted new independent artists.
Now we must ask for your help.
If you enjoy our articles, photography and podcasts, please consider becoming a subscribing member. It works out to just £1 per week, to receive our next 6 issues, our 15-year anniversary zine, access to our digital editions, the L&Q brass pin, exclusive playlists, the L&Q bookmark and loads of other extras.