Sad bangers are not a new phenomenon. People have been swaying under disco balls and looking wistfully across the dancefloor to a soundtrack of synths for decades. Troye Sivan might well have perfected the art though on his new album ‘Bloom’.
While debut record ‘Blue Neighbourhood’ was a timid peek in to queer love and life, ‘Bloom’ marks a new chapter of confidence in which Sivan truly blossoms. Opening track Seventeen swishes in, threatening to capture all in it’s hazy pop sweep if not for it’s borderline bleak lyrics about how defining sex can when coming-of-age; encapsulating a painful scenario familiar to queer men and women alike.
And he said age is just a number/Just like any other/We can do whatever, do whatever you want
Boy becomes a man now/Can’t tell a man to slow down, he’ll just do whatever, do whatever he wants
Lead single My! My! My! – released all the way back in January – may have lead fans to believe that his second record was going to be a joyous, balls-to-the-wall affair. Nine months later, it’s still ashamedly proud and riotous, providing a pivotal moment of light in what can be often be a heady listen.
Troye makes hopeless romance so good, dressing up his sombre doubts on Plum in a tropical gallop of vocoder, synth and prickly guitar lines – the saddest shimmy you’ll ever find yourself a part of.
What he lacks in range (as cruelly highlighted on the still-pleasant Ariana Grande collab Dance To This), he makes up for in personality and delivery. He is the jewel of every song, the crux of the story, the glittering protagonist of his own story.
‘Bloom’ acts as a wonderful second act to ‘Blue Neighbourhood’, while retaining all of the qualities that made it one of the most devastatingly effective pop works of the last decade. Where ‘BN’ was blue, ‘Bloom’ strikes neon as a self-assured, vibrant and carefree dance through lived-in experiences of life and lust.