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Ugly Season Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest full-length release for Perfume Genius began as a soundtrack to Mike Hadreas and Kate Wallich's dance project, The Sun Still Burns Here.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Slant Magazine
    Jun 15, 2022
    90
    The album serves as a beautiful dissection of dance as action and concept. Beyond that, it’s the most experimental Perfume Genius effort to date, and a bold addition to an already impeccable discography.
  2. Paste Magazine
    Jun 16, 2022
    84
    It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding releases Perfume Genius has ever attempted. ... Ugly Season continues a hell of a winning streak for Perfume Genius, a group that has ascended beyond expectation.
  3. Clash Music
    Jun 15, 2022
    80
    'Ugly Season' is best digested as a whole concept. It demands focus, and if the listener isn't too careful, they'll miss the nuance found in muttered lyrics and a flicker of synth.
  4. New Musical Express (NME)
    Jun 16, 2022
    80
    ‘Ugly Season’ might be indulgent, but Hadreas is still able to weave in the tender and immediate songwriting that made ‘Set My Heart On Fire’ so engaging (just as he wove his experimental streak into that record).
  5. PopMatters
    Jun 23, 2022
    80
    His most experimental, wandering, and gorgeously unkempt album to date.
  6. Under The Radar
    Jun 17, 2022
    75
    The tracks are largely abstract with long periods of solely instrumental passages, but Hadreas’ artistic voice is evident throughout. If anything, the record demonstrates that his hunger for innovation and evolution still remain intact.
  7. The Skinny
    Jun 15, 2022
    60
    The constantly shifting mood makes it difficult to settle into a rhythm, which may be due to the missing visual element, but there are more than enough well-executed left turns on Ugly Season to make a solid standalone album.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 18, 2022
    10
    This entire album is just so immaculately produced it's almost like ear candy. Photograph has to be one of the best songs I've heard in aThis entire album is just so immaculately produced it's almost like ear candy. Photograph has to be one of the best songs I've heard in a seriously long time. Expand
  2. Jun 17, 2022
    9
    One of the best things about perfume genius and this album is that we can see how ideas from the previous album thematic or in the productionOne of the best things about perfume genius and this album is that we can see how ideas from the previous album thematic or in the production and the instrumentation evolves and gets perfected like for example the ending passage of herem is reminiscent of the passage from leave but perfected things like that make me smile 9.5/10 it can grow as a 10 for sure Expand
  3. Jun 17, 2022
    8
    Ugly season:8.8/10
    After a 2 year wait preceeded by two stunning singles that both continued to contend with the reoccurring theme of
    Ugly season:8.8/10
    After a 2 year wait preceeded by two stunning singles that both continued to contend with the reoccurring theme of transcendence Mike returns with "Ugly Season" a sonic companion to an ambitious immersive performance art dance piece ''The Sun Still Burns Here'"

    This record rebels against the accessibility achieved by his last two masterpiece but seeks his more languid and audacious parts,moments witnessed in the horror of ''I'm a mother" or distortion of "choir" . Entire songs can pass without Handreas fragile chords such as the piano piece "scherzo" giving the record a sense of mystique in which his voice is a guest instead of the centerpiece:he adorns it not the other way round.

    The sinister opener "just a room" looms with dread reminiscent of Tim Hecker's Virgins before rising to heavens like a once held breath floating off. "Herem" is so far the centerpiece! It's ushered by pitched whistles and pipes that whirl like pestering flies or fall like bemoaned cries until his vocals tip toe in like careful guides weary of their landscape . "Teeth" is lighter in comparison frolicking in the vein of a prior favorite "just like love" but here there is few moments of relief instead it seems worried as mesmerizing flutes try to calm it. "Pop song" pops with a bright synths that bubble before an enthusiastic sigh washes over it before the song descends into dissonant percussion.

    The title track is a far out guttural reggae trance that moves with the fumes of a hot crowed dance floor. A collage of screams ,sighs and high notes circle the deep mumbling in it's center, a fuk-ing fantastic stand out ! "Eye in the wall" is a drugged manic fever that just builds and builds from senual instructions to "model for me" & "give it up " until a satisfying unleashing of pleasure that took nearly 9 minutes to build once you finally do give it up. "Photograph" sounds straight out of Kamasi washington and growls like an empty stomach before harmonies fit for a cathedral flanks the kick drums like flowers on the mouth of a volcano. "Hellbent" begins like an apocalypse, a horn blares like a siren urging a retreat to safety but here it gets loud before Mike joins sounding like he'd been crying or in an argument . When he says "it's still happening " he sounds distressed, these 6min hold some of the best parts of his discography! "Cenote" is a perfect closer. It rocks you to sleep with an air of acceptance, telling you that whatever it was you experienced throughout the preceeding 6min opus "hellbent" would be okay...and it was.

    Overall "Ugly Season " is a striking project that despite wavering at some parts stands triumphantly in it's ambition. Seemingly sourced from Jenny Hval more ominous compositions (see: blood **** or Portishead this album is a perfect example of making your influences your own as it results in an idiosyncratic abundance music.
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  4. Jun 22, 2022
    7
    A very good album here by Perfume Genius with some fairly interesting barren soundscapes, impressive songwriting and a wonderful vocalA very good album here by Perfume Genius with some fairly interesting barren soundscapes, impressive songwriting and a wonderful vocal performance. However, the album feels a bit one-note on relisten. Expand
  5. Jun 23, 2022
    4
    It is what was missing on set my heart on fire. The scent.
    Unfortunately it misses the flesh present on the former. Should have mix these two
    It is what was missing on set my heart on fire. The scent.
    Unfortunately it misses the flesh present on the former. Should have mix these two together, we'd have a masterpiece. Alas he didn't. And we end with two not fully satisfying records. Perfume don't try to make hits that bad please. It doesn't suit you anyways.
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