• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: May 15, 2020
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
Buy On
  1. May 18, 2020
    100
    The most accessible album from Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) to date, without sacrificing any of his otherworldly strangeness and rich emotionalism. ... It is an album of vast depths that will reward a lot of listening.
  2. 100
    Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, lands with devastating precision. These 13 tracks are finely wrought works of art that draw as much influence from Purcell and Mozart as they do scuzzy Nineties post-punk.
  3. May 14, 2020
    100
    It’s an absolute tour de force, a record full of drama and emotion and pleasure and pain.
  4. May 14, 2020
    100
    What Perfume Genius started with Too Bright was strengthened and solidified on No Shape and has been brought into full focus here, and nurtured to full bloom.
  5. May 14, 2020
    100
    Whatever he’s doing, the results are uniformly fantastic: rich, fascinating and moving, packed with gorgeous melodies and arrangements that feel alive, constantly writhing into unexpected new shapes.
  6. May 15, 2020
    96
    As one might expect from the title, “Set My Heart on Fire Immediately” is elaborate, dramatic and demanding, and is not the kind of art that one comes to lightly — although, in yet another of the album’s counterintuitions, it works just as well as background listening as it does in intense focus. Expect this challenging and ever-changing artist’s most definitive statement to date to top many album-of-the-year lists.
  7. 95
    Hadreas may be uncompromising but stubbornness has its rewards: few albums feel as distinct or as complete as his.
  8. May 19, 2020
    90
    Moses Sumney and Mike Hadreas have made the albums of our strange quarantine season — bleak but tender, sprawling yet intricately detailed, as suffused with the need for physical contact as they are alert to its dangers and prohibitions. ... Stunning art-soul record. ... Yet as busy as the music can occasionally feel, both albums keep close track of the singers’ voices, which always merit the attention.
  9. May 18, 2020
    90
    Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is both vast and packed with detail. The songs expand and contract, one minute blasting open with the melodrama of a Roy Orbison ballad, the next zooming in with surgical detail as Hadreas describes ribs that fold like fabric, a tear-streaked face, an instance of post-coital petty theft.
  10. May 15, 2020
    90
    A dense, sometimes challenging, but ultimately patience-rewarding listen.
  11. May 15, 2020
    90
    All the nuances of desire that Hadreas explores on Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately enhance the individuality of each song, as well as his own individuality -- and as he honors every part of his music and himself, he gives listeners another rich, densely packed album to savor.
  12. May 12, 2020
    90
    Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is an enormous, cavernous record – the kind that invites you to sit inside and let your fears and triumphs echo against its glittering walls. It's been a small marvel to witness the transformation of Mike Hadreas, and his latest offering is only more proof that he's an artist unlike any other working today, capable of opening doors to the unknown and illuminating new pathways.
  13. May 15, 2020
    85
    Set My Heart On Fire Immediately may be indulgent, but it is intoxicating in its sprawling approach. It is openly expressive and emotional, as we follow Hadreas through fantastic highs and dark and dissociative lows.
  14. Uncut
    May 22, 2020
    80
    These delectable hookfests metaphorically parallel Hadreas's move from the gloom of his Seattle hometown to his new base in sunswept L.A. [Jul 2020, p.33]
  15. May 18, 2020
    80
    The sturdy structures of pop only go so far in Perfume Genius songs. They provide reassurance that others have found ways to capture similar feelings. But they can’t hold back the immediacy of longing, the all-consuming physical need. That’s captured in a pair of songs near the end of the album.
  16. May 18, 2020
    80
    Set My Heart on Fire Immediately is an important album for Hadreas because it opens so many doors for the future – but if he really wants to set our hearts on fire, I’d advise him to once again unleash the bombast.
  17. 80
    Ultimately Hadreas has, with this album, proven his own hypothesis: you don’t necessarily have to blow things up to move forward.
  18. May 13, 2020
    80
    His effort to overcome the body-brain gulf is more apparent than ever throughout No Shape follow-up Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, on which Hadreas loses control of not just his body, but his heart. As ever, his voice and music contort and warp in tandem with his anatomy.
  19. Mojo
    May 12, 2020
    80
    Despite playing with pop forms, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately holds Hadreas's experimental shape, his artistic line. ... A slow burner, in every way. [Jun 2020, p.94]
  20. May 12, 2020
    80
    Disjointed? Slightly. But who cares. He’s conjured something mischievous and joyful. A record that feels like it’s been beamed in from a distant star, sounding something like a near and possible future.
  21. May 12, 2020
    80
    His most ambitious music yet on his fifth LP. ... These are age-old ideas, but they don’t feel that way when he’s singing them. It’s par for the course for an artist who specializes in embodying pop archetypes, and making them new again.
  22. May 15, 2020
    70
    The slow, contemplative songs on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately are hit or miss. Most are moving mood pieces with intricate melodies, while some are bland and skippable. The best Perfume Genius moments are with the dynamic upbeat pop songs, jam-packed with hooks and danceable grooves. Throughout the album, Hadreas forms complex sonic textures out of the thoughts tormenting his psyche. The result is an album that thrills at times, invites quiet reflection at others, but is always interesting.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 84
  2. Negative: 4 out of 84
  1. May 15, 2020
    10
    This album is just phenomenal. Intimate, passionate yet experimental. It’s got sounds reminiscent of each of his previous albums, but it’s aThis album is just phenomenal. Intimate, passionate yet experimental. It’s got sounds reminiscent of each of his previous albums, but it’s a completely new body of work. Full Review »
  2. May 15, 2020
    10
    I’m in awe by how laconic yet capacious his lyrics are. Not to mention the poetry and intimacy of it, backed by the softness of the music. AndI’m in awe by how laconic yet capacious his lyrics are. Not to mention the poetry and intimacy of it, backed by the softness of the music. And no skips whatsoever! This is a 10 baby. Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2020
    10
    Deserves every bit of the praise it's receiving. Flows seamlessly despite all the varying styles within the album-- dreamy layered art pop toDeserves every bit of the praise it's receiving. Flows seamlessly despite all the varying styles within the album-- dreamy layered art pop to fuzzy shoegaze. Beautifully produced by Blake Mills, never feels bloated. One of the most satisfying listens of the year so far.
    Fav tracks: Moonbend, Leave, Jason, On The Floor, Borrowed Light, Some Dream
    Full Review »