Troye Sivan: Bloom Album Review

Story posted September 22, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

The young breakout sensation Troye Sivan is back with his second album, Bloom. While Sivan’s debut album, Blue Neighborhood, focused more so on realizing your place in the world and coming to accept yourself. Bloom focusses more so on the life of a budding, gay teen youth exploring through his own sexual discoveries and maturity. Being that Sivan is now 23, he chose to attempt to illustrate themes such as how he has grown up, where he is now in his life and who he is as a musician in a 10-song album as a challenge and the product is very much a success.

Sivan entered the mainstream as an incredibly talented young actor and YouTube star, who at the considerably young age of eighteen, revealed to the world that he was gay in a coming-out video in 2013. Making an incredible leap for the LGBTQ community, Sivan stated in a 2013 YouTube video clearly that being gay, “Was not something I’m ashamed of and it's not something that anyone should have to be ashamed of…” leading to even more YouTube stars coming out as well. Sivan has now somewhat moved on from his acting and YouTube pursuits in order to develop his blossoming music career. Sivan’s debut album rocketed up the charts and had an impressive following of critical reception. Bloom rivals that initial success and exhibits Sivan as he digs even deeper into his song writing, utilizing aspects such as fragility, innocence and weakness, which are often avoided by other male artists.

Bloom is an emotionally transparent synth and dream-pop journey that begins with Sivan as a young and innocent boy and travels with him as he develops into a mature and conflicted man. Opening with an incredibly revealing track, “Seventeen” tells the story of Sivan’s first real sexual experience. The track exhibits lyrics that serve as a reflection of Sivan’s unconfident quest to find love and his struggle to feel in control of his own sexual discovery. The song features very unique beats and has call backs to Sivan’s earlier song, “Wild”, featured on the Blue Neighborhood album. The album then moves to the electric-pop dance track, “My My My!,” a tastefully synth-heavy and catchy exclamation of joy and belonging.

Tracks such as “The Good Side” and “Postcard” have a far more somber outlook, featuring deeper lyrics about heartbreak and unsteadiness in relationships allowing for very relevant emotional connections with the listener. The album’s title track, “Bloom,” is a song about love and growing trust for the man Sivan wishes to be with. The track features very seductive lyrics mixed with beckoning grooves, which beg the listener to just relax and ride with Sivan as he lets lose of his worries and weakens his defenses.

Ariana Grande and Sivan later sing in the electric duet, “Dance to This,” a song about cutting lose and enjoying the moment. While tracks such as “My My My!” and “Dance to This” may at first appear to be too juvenile, the songs in reality match the flow of Bloom very well as it moves from youthful innocence to Sivan’s far more mature and conflicted manhood.

The next two subsequent tracks, “Plum” and “A Heavenly Way to Die,” while relevant and in their own right are not complete missteps, feel a little too late on the album and in general their messages are better stated in earlier tracks. The album picks back up, however, with the indie-pop track, “Lucky Strike,” which features a very catchy chorus blended with well written modern pop lyrics. The album then closes beautifully with the clashing and reflective, “Animal,” in which Sivan reveals his potentially selfish needs for love and his desire to be the object of his lover’s affection.

Overall, the album is very cohesive and features a lot of deep revealing lyrics often not found in music in the current mainstream. Sivan’s confident ability to sing about gay themes in a way that has mass appeal, allows for the distinction between homosexual and heterosexual relationships to become a little less apparent and strictly bordered off. Each track has a man as the main subject of Sivan’s affection and attention and he sings as if in a world filled with songs about love and sex, that shouldn’t be a concern. Sivan deserves an incredible amount of praise for his desire to challenge himself with a 10-song album with such a strong statement of sexually progressive themes. Bloom is an excitingly relevant and revealing addition to Sivan’s discography and cements Sivan as a major pop influence and innovative male artist.

Rating: 8/10

 

 

Scott Perdue is a Sophomore majoring in film/video. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.