Australian pop star Troye Sivan made a big impact with his outstanding debut album Blue Neighbourhood back in 2015. With well-crafted electro pop tunes and powerful music videos, he became one of the most promising new artists, Sivan kicked off 2018 with the release of his lush pop anthem ‘My My My!. An album was expected soon after, but the whole roll out of this era took a bit longer. Eight months and four singles later, his sophmore album Bloom is finally out. A Bit of Pop Music guides you through the record with a track by track review!
Troye Sivan opens his album with a slightly controversial topic, which more people should talk openly about. He sings about how he started dating and exploring sexually when he was 17, with men who were older than him. In interviews he explained how he discovered dating app Grindr and wanted to meet like-minded people. “He said age is just a number, just like any other. We can do whatever, do whatever you want”, he sings about the encounters that made ‘a boy become a man’. ‘Seventeen’ has a vivacious chorus with one of the strongest hooks on the record, and production wise it might be the closest thing to his debut. It is a brave choice to start his album out with such an honest song that will sure be relatable to some of his fans.
02. My My My!
Mr. Sivan managed to drop one of the best pop singles of the year in the very first week. ‘My My My!’ is a natural, but more upbeat progression to his previous sound with a delicious 80s influence and an exciting sexual awakening. That chorus is a force of nature and the whole track swings like Troye has never done before. What. A. Tune!
03. The Good Side
Just before his Saturday Night Live performance, Troye released ‘The Good Side’. This beautifully orchestrated ballad sounds like it could have been part of the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack, with some apparent Sufjan Stevens influences. Until his second album, this was new territory for him and although Sivan does not have the broadest vocal range, his delivery of the lyrics about the aftermath of a breakup is captivating.
Speaking of Troye’s sexual awakening, ‘Bloom’ is a proper anthem for sex between two men. Troye sings about his first time as a ‘bottom’ in metaphors over an addictive late 80s early 90s beat. The chorus is a simple, slightly repetitive affair, but not one of the kind that easily gets on the nerves. ‘Bloom’ is a bop and for sure one of the key tracks on the record.
05. Postcard (feat. Gordi)
Troye slows things down on ‘Postcard’, a duet with Australian folktronica artist Gordi. The mostly piano based ballad shows Sivan unable to move on after a break up that he does not seem to fully accept. Lines like ‘you’re still picking me up, don’t you put me back down like it’s nothing to you’ are simple but oh so effective in hitting all the feels. Gordi’s middle-eight works surprisingly well with Troye’s style and this is easily one of the most moving songs he has released to date.
06. Dance To This (feat. Ariana Grande)
This duet with Ariana Grande was released as the fourth track of the album and did not make as much as an impression as they might have hoped for with the Ariana feature. ‘Dance To This’ is a cute little bop with a slick production and a catchy chorus, but it misses the spark Ariana’s own singles (‘No Tears Left To Cry’ and ‘God Is A Woman’) or Sivan’s very own ‘My My My!’ did have.
The fans who were hoping on some more actual bops on the album, will be happy to hear ‘Plum’ made the cut. This is easily the most hit worthy tune out of the ones that weren’t released as singles yet. The chorus is incredibly catchy, the lyrics stand out enough to catch our attention and the production is tailor made for radio with a smooth and current overall sound. This needs to be a hit!
08. What A Heavenly Way To Die
With ‘What A Heavenly Way To Die’ we go straight back into moody territory. The melancholic track echoes the slower tracks on his debut with an understated vocal delivery and a steady progression without a proper climax. His sultry vocals are perfect for this type of captivating chorus eventhough it is not one of the more memorable tracks on the record.
09. Lucky Strike
For those who hoped for more sexy uptempo tunes after the addictive ‘My My My!’, ‘Lucky Strike’ probably will be the one. The swinging bass line that kicks in at the start of the chorus is too good to resist moving to. The track produced and co-written by long time collaborator Alex Hope features some fun lyrics that mess with gender ‘rules’. “And my boy like a queen, unlike one you’ve ever seen, he knows how to love me better”, he sings over the pulsing beat. This might be his most seductive tune so far and he pulls it off effortlessly!
Sivan proves once more that he became a more diverse artist with more depth in his tunes on album closer ‘Animal’. The love song could be described as a synth ballad, but also works through some interesting changes of pace and an unusual vocal delivery towards the bridge, which almost sounds like it was intented for Frank Ocean’s Blonde album. Vocally, he shows growth and this track is more experimental than we have ever herad him before.
Bloom surely could have done with a bit more body (read: a couple more tracks), but it is an undeniably strong sophomore album with not a single disappointing track. As he worked with numerous different producers this time around, the album does not necessarily sound as cohesive as his debut, but at the same time it leaves him more room to experiment. The build up of the album could have been executed better with a tracklist that would not switch from ballad to uptempo as often, but hey, at least we got ten excellent new tracks to enjoy from a daring and boundary breaking pop star!