Highlights: Myth, Wild, The Hours, Troublemaker
Some have already proclaimed this the or at least an album of the year, but I’m certainly not going that far. You know that proverbial album where you enjoy every second and every moment, but don’t find a single song you couldn’t live without. For me, Bloom is more or less that sort of album. Dreamy, engaging, melodic – just not gutsy enough. That said, fans of the band and lovers of the genre (mellow dream pop, obviously) will find another gorgeous and leisured world to wallow in. Nothing wrong with that.
Bloom is a very well-written, well-constructed collection of songs. Much like Teen Dream before it. Not yet prepared to say which album is better, but one thing for sure: you can’t beat these guys in terms of consistency. Ten 4 and 5 minute dream pop confections with slow-burning melodies and positive, charming vibes. Picking highlights is a completely random thing here: they are all good. Hey, nice tune, you would think. And then you would think that again. And again.
The impeccable instrumentation proves that the guys have mastered the form to the extent where you could just sit back and admire the whole thing, bit by bit. Songs like “Wild” or “Troublemaker” have such intriguing, hypnotic intros, you almost regret the moment those hazy vocals come to wash you away and take to the world of milk and honey. Thinking, rather cynically perhaps, that those vocals are more lovely and precious than, well, beautiful.
Bloom is a perfect album, that bit is certain. It so clearly was made to sound perfect. My only problem with it – it may just be not great enough. But its musing, infectious tentacles keep growing on and inside of me in a way most irresistible and beguiling. I’m giving it a low 8 now, and feeling a tad uncomfortable about that. Bloom is not much. It’s a bit like plague. But God what a sweet, sweet plague.