Beach House: Bloom – Music Review
By Daniel Morrell
Bloom is the highly anticipated fourth studio by the Baltimore based dream pop duo Beach House. Amidst the success of their previous release, Teen Dream, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally dish out another entrancing and delightful collection that cements their position a top the neon 80’s revival. Producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, TV on the Radio) who also produced Teen Dream returns again, to help generate an album that refines the lofty, atmospheric, and ethereal elements that Beach House’s listeners adore. In every way this feels like the sequel to Teen Dream, it’s a safe bet but a step forward nonetheless.
From the opening track, and first single, “Myth” to the last, “Irene” you will fall under a spell of cozy ambience that certainly makes you feel like “It’s a strange paradise” as Legrand says in the closing track. Combinations of rich, mysterious keyboards and synths, with smooth, effectively placed guitar parts, and Legrand’s woeful, elegant vocals along with the looping tendencies of the band create a world unique to itself that will make you “still want to stay.” This album is very addicting, so beware; you might lose the rest of your day before you realize it.
There aren’t many specific parts that will wow you with elevated musicianship, but that is not the intention of Bloom. A first time listener might overlook this album and consider it to be a bore until they delve deeper into its subtleties, where the true beauty lies. This is not considered a concept album but there is undoubtedly a message being told and the soundtrack to it is ideal.
In “Myth” Legrand says, “You came rolling down the cheek/You say just what you need/And in between/It’s never as it seems,” tells of a dismantled relationship full of “momentary bliss” and the “consequences of what you do to me.” She then philosophizes that “You can’t keep hangin’ on/To all that’s dead and gone,” The struggle of her lover’s indecision was surely the cause of despair as she tells us in “Wishes,” “The roses on the lawn/Won’t know what side you’re on/On that hill/Forever still.” Legrand’s tale of heartbreak continues in “Other People” where she expresses the difficulties of trying to hold a love together; “Help me keep us together/Right place at the wrong time/It takes all kinds of weather,” but in the end, “It was never quite enough.”
Overall, this is very well thought-out and constructed album. Each moment is aligned perfectly with music and lyrics. It pulls at your heart but gives you a smile at the same time. It is the perfect anthem for the ailing lover in the summer air.
Front page image from gorillavsbear.net. Interior image from snapme.ca