"Perfect Picture" - Hannah Diamond Album Review by Sam Franzini for Northern Transmissions


Perfect Picture

Hannah Diamond

Hyperpop is responsible for some of the most inventive songs in the past decade, so it’s interesting to remember it started usually as just a blown-out, exaggerated vision of pop music. On her second album, hyperpop forebearer Hannah Diamond uses her glassy persona and shimmery instrumentation to cement its legacy.

Most of Perfect Picture examines the way humans use technology, usually how it amplifies, or distorts, love. “No FX” shows that a lover’s gaze is pure, with no outside manipulation, “Impossible” laments a fated relationship between Diamond and an on-screen figure, and one of the catchiest on the album, “Poster Girl” romanticizes a singer or person that’s unattainable, trapped in the pages of a glossy magazine. On the glitchy title track, too, she idealizes the permanence a photo can have, as opposed to a real-life person: “DNA, it just gets in the way / ‘Cause people change / But pictures always stay the same,” she sings.

At times, the metaphors that come with the infusion of life and technology get a bit redundant — “Lost within the pixels of you”, she sings on “Impossible”; “You’re looking so HD” on the title track; “In a world of windows and screens / Nothing distorts your view of me” on “No FX” — but you can’t say she isn’t committed to the bit. In fact, that’s one of Perfect Picture’s strengths, that each song sounds perfectly suited to its sisters, as if they were all created using the same sound pack.

In her electronic plastic world, there’s some room for anxiety, but it’s quickly brushed away, as a doll would. Diamond wakes up nervous on “Lip Sync” (“Feels like the day’s kind of a lot”), but she uses a ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ perspective in order to get through it: “See myself from a new perspective / It doesn’t have to be realistic.” On “Affirmations”, she promises to be a “better girl” by repeating the same phrases: “I am building my own world,” she sings on the Auto-Tuned chorus, “I’m a businesswoman and my own CEO.”

You’d be forgiven if you lamented for some more variety within the tracklist: this is a made-to-order, clean-cut pop album with just enough glitches and hooks to keep itself interesting for its 40-minute runtime. It’ll have some songs stuck in your head at the end of the day, but lacks depth if authenticity is prioritized. But maybe, in her perfect little world, Hannah Diamond is perfectly content playing a dress-up glittery pop doll.

Order Perfect Picture HERE.


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.