Put Your Back N 2 It

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Buy On
  1. Feb 28, 2012
    80
    While Learning's haunting storytelling remains singular, Hadreas is as brave an artist as ever, and Put Your Back N 2 It is a heartening follow-up in so many ways.
  2. Feb 17, 2012
    70
    Exists in a bleakly beautiful twilight zone of Hadreas' own making.
  3. It is the bravery of the album that is its greatest triumph.
  4. Feb 17, 2012
    80
    This marvellous studio-recorded successor [to his debut album] is more expansive but no less affecting.
  5. Mar 5, 2012
    80
    For all its seriousness, it's the absence of big moments and Hadreas' refusal to give in to easy outs that make what he does so compelling.
  6. 80
    It's a fleshy album (in many senses), and every time Hadreas tip-toes away from maudlin piano-ballads and towards Xiu Xiu's experimental side of the spectrum, the album really lights up.
  7. 80
    As Perfume Genius, he's [Mike Hadreas] developed a strong second album with Put Your Back N 2 It, a modestly personal release.
  8. Feb 21, 2012
    90
    Perfume Genius is worthy of the hype, and the hyperbole: this is a fantastic record.
  9. Feb 21, 2012
    80
    What isn't in any doubt is that these compositions, from Hadreas' distinctive, fragile vocal through to the orchestration behind the compositions themselves represents a significant progression from the bolt-from-the-blue that was Learning.
  10. Feb 23, 2012
    80
    A delicate collection of near-gospel songs for the brokenhearted.
  11. Magnet
    Mar 20, 2012
    70
    Album number two pulls back from that musical and writerly intimacy [found on the debut] - if only slightly - trading a degree of specificity for a degree of universality, and adding just the faintest touch of gloss. [No. 85, p.57]
  12. Feb 17, 2012
    90
    Hadreas is a staggeringly talented songwriter, with Put Your Back N 2 It showcasing an array of songs as deceptively simple as they are jaw-droppingly powerful.
  13. 80
    That troubled kid [Mike Hadreas] never went away. It's just that this time, he's more concerned with reaching towards the light.
  14. Feb 24, 2012
    80
    It's curious how much of the content in here could bring back what is fast becoming an increasingly extinct way of emoting--the fact that it feels this intimate should be something to be thankful for.
  15. Feb 17, 2012
    80
    Conveying so much harrowing detail in such a brief time is no small feat – one reason why his music lingers long after the album ends.
  16. Feb 27, 2012
    84
    For all its violence, Back radiates warmth. Much of the beauty is due to the expanded instrumentation.
  17. Mar 2, 2012
    80
    Although the trials and tribulations Hadreas writes about don't always make for an easy listen, his music has an idealistic dimension to it, envisioning the best of all worlds where he can try to touch everyone without having to be anyone but himself.
  18. Mar 7, 2012
    80
    Put Your Back N 2 It is a deeply affecting album, but also a plainspoken one.
  19. Q Magazine
    Feb 22, 2012
    80
    He beefs up his sound with thumping drums and strings and what emerges sounds epic in comparison. [Mar 2012, p.111]
  20. Feb 29, 2012
    70
    While potent, his voice is a limited instrument, and the best songs here push past his debut's piano-student minimalism into full-on girl-group drama.
  21. Feb 21, 2012
    75
    Put Your Back N 2 It fails at recreating Learning's tortured confessionals, but its confidence is promising.
  22. Feb 17, 2012
    80
    Tear-stained and unsettled it may be, but the second chapter of Perfume Genius' flamboyant, disturbing story is uniquely compelling.
  23. But where Learning drifted into the ether, this captivating follow-up thrives off harnessing his fragile sensibility to fulsome melodies.
  24. Feb 22, 2012
    80
    If Learning was a private primal scream, Put Your Back N 2 It is Mike Hadreas' first public display of his escalating talent.
  25. Feb 28, 2012
    70
    Lovely, at times heart-wrenching, and musically fragile to the point of shattering, the record plays like a series of themes serving as lifetime codas, even when the lyrics suggest otherwise.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Feb 29, 2012
    10
    Last year's Kate Bush effort, 50 Words for Snow, was built like this one. Then, I was thinking that Kate is a species on extinct. Not really.Last year's Kate Bush effort, 50 Words for Snow, was built like this one. Then, I was thinking that Kate is a species on extinct. Not really. Mike Hadreas is also able to provide a wonderful set of songs using mostly a piano and the voice. Using this paradigm would be deathly dangerous for the most of so called show-business stars, simply because they have NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT ANYTHING. Both in case of Kate and now Mike, there is a message to listen to. Perfume Genius metaphorically has put his back into lyrics and what could have been a message for gay men became the one which is universal. Full Review »
  2. Feb 22, 2012
    9
    Fantastically simple or simply fantastic? I think the latter.

    Some songs I definitely like more than others, but I can still let this play
    Fantastically simple or simply fantastic? I think the latter.

    Some songs I definitely like more than others, but I can still let this play through and at the end I still think it's too short and replay it. Besides the obvious improvement in recording quality and extra instruments. The guitars create intense flurries of feedback at the exact right moment, and the drums decorate Hadreas' frail piano.

    Perfume Genius has matured but has kept their immediacy and honesty.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 7, 2015
    6
    This album is stylistically similar to Learning, but the production has changed and so has the songwriting. These tracks just don't have theThis album is stylistically similar to Learning, but the production has changed and so has the songwriting. These tracks just don't have the same emotional power that the ones on Learning had. I think putting PG's voice at the front of the mix like it mostly is on this album reveals the weaknesses of it. The album has the same ideas and motives as Learning did, but it feels emptier and a little lost. Full Review »