Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Album Review: Beach House - Bloom

Album Rating: A
I don't really know how to feel about Beach House not changing their formula at all over the six years that they have been releasing albums. After the just-noticeable-enough reinvention of their sound on 2010's masterpiece Teen Dream, I was expecting a drastic change in Beach House's sound on the next album. On the other hand, I am more than satisfied with the duo's ability to keep the same sound, making the most miniscule of tweaks in between releases, and still be able to make it sound incredibly new and refreshing. Bloom is definitely not a renovation of Beach House's signature dream pop sound, but it's better than anything they have ever done before.

It's true that Beach House hasn't changed much since their self-titled debut back in 2006. But since that album, they've made tiny changes to their sound, which all comes together on Bloom. On Devotion, the duo lightened up a bit and gained a sensibility for a good pop tune. On Teen Dream, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand had their hearts broken a couple of times and created a beautiful, lovesick masterpiece. And on Bloom, all of the beauty and poppiness and heartache gets thrown into a big, swirly, and synthy powerhouse. Take "Lazuli" for example, where the track utilizes a catchy and repetitive synth line to provide a hook for one of the best songs of the year thus far. One of the most notable tweaks that Beach House has made to their sound is their implementation of acoustic drums, branching outwards from the very monochromatic pallette of percussion sounds used throughout their self-titled and Devotion. The drummer on Bloom makes this known by being tom-happy at just the right moments on tracks such as single "Myth" and "Wild," giving the two tracks a distinct but equally infectious beat.

What Beach House has shown with Bloom (and with Teen Dream as well, I suppose) is that the evolution of an artist's sound does not mean entirely changing your song structure, or using more unique beats. Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have proven that you can do the same thing well for an extended period of time, something that many artists nowadays have shown us doesn't work out well too often. From here, I'm not too concerned with Beach House changing a damn thing. I just hope they remain in the same dream and continue to bloom however they deem appropriate.


01. Myth
02. Wild
03. Lazuli
04. Other People
05. The Hours
06. Troublemaker
07. New Year
08. Wishes
09. On the Sea
10. Irene

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