Troye Sivan made waves in 2015 with his debut LP, Blue Neighborhood. Since its release, Sivan has reached international stardom, touring the world and building a huge fan base to back him up. On his new release Bloom, he taps into his personal life for inspiration while still managing to grow not only as a person but as an artist and musician on his new project.
From the opening track, “Seventeen,” Bloom already sets itself apart from anything that has been released so far this year. The album’s opener captivates with Sivan’s soft vocals and mature lyrics about his promiscuity at age 17. It’s the perfect lead-up to the hit single “My My My!,” which has an infectious dance beat and continues the themes of being young and loving someone.
Tracks like “Postcard” show Sivan at a vulnerable state, not only through its lyrics but in its instrumentation and vocals. “The Good Side,” however, is where this vulnerability is truly most evident. The soft acoustic ballad talks about having an easy time coping with a breakup while still feeling a little heartbroken. It’s songs like these that demonstrate Sivan’s storytelling through clever lyrics and ability to connect with his listeners.
Sivan truly shines when his vocals are at the forefront of the song. His duet with Ariana Grande on the track “Dance to This” showcases each singer’s ability to complement one another, while never outshining each other. Grande’s vocals are sweet on the ears, making the track a standout.
The album isn’t without its faults, however. Filler tracks like “Plum” and “What a Heavenly Way to Die” are some of the least memorable tracks on the entire record. These are some of the few moments on the album where Sivan fails to stick the landing, most likely due to how generic the songs sound and how cheesy the lyrics. Thankfully, however, these moments on the album don’t take away from how enjoyable the record is. There’s still some things to take away from these songs. They’re not terrible.
It’s the mature songcraft that make a lot of the tracks stand out. Fans will appreciate the stories told on Bloom. Whether Sivan is talking about a postcard that he sent to his boyfriend from Tokyo, or about kissing someone who has the taste of cigarettes, he manages to keep things interesting as the songs go on. It’s the title track, however, where the album really is at its best. “Bloom” demonstrates all the themes the project represents, which is fitting, considering it is the title track.
Sivan not only sings a catchy chorus that’ll stay in one’s head afterward, but he puts his own unique twist on a seemingly cliché theme of intimacy. It’s the perfect anthem to come out at the end of the summer.
The album ends off strong with “Animal,” a soft ballad with warm vocals and quiet instrumentation that demonstrates how less is more. The guitar and piano provide subtle changes that give the song a much more organic feel, while still incorporating interesting beats over it that find a nice balance, ending the album beautifully.
In anticipation of the album’s release, Sivan tweeted a link for his fans in April for an app on which he would release sneak peaks of the album. He previewed lyrics that revealed that the songs are about very specific experiences he had gone through over the past two years. Although the experiences are personal, Sivan doesn’t alienate his fans or anyone listening to his music.
Listeners are able to connect to his music because of how infectious the dance beats are and how catchy the vocal melodies are, a testament to the unique artistry found on Bloom. Sivan builds upon what makes him a unique artist in his new project.
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