Beach House: Bloom
Beach House: Bloom– Beach House is an indie pop duo from Baltimore, MD. If you’ve never heard Beach House before, there’s really only a few ways to describe them. I would say they were indie dream pop with minimalist keyboards, deep female vocals and glittery guitars… which is exactly what they were on their first 2 records. Beginning with Teen Dream, they ditched the minimalist beats for fuller, more shimmery beats, smoother vocals and guitars that not only retained their glitter, but were also larger than life. The melodies sounded like they thought about them much more and as a result, Beach House went from the abstract to a fully recognized super indie band.
Teen Dream was nearly perfect in every regard. You want pop songs? No problem. You want soulful ballads? Check. I’m telling you, it was one of those records that you could put on and it would be perfect for just about anything. Now the real challenge would be to follow it up with something that wasn’t duplicating it while still remaining true to their art. I didn’t doubt that they could, I just knew that expecting another Teen Dream year after year just wasn’t going to happen… or was it? Could they possibly make a record that meets the insanely high standard that it set?
Bloom has many layers to it– It’s a record that’s easily approachable to fans of Teen Dream and Beach House in general. Now, would I say that it has the same ability to draw-in as many new listeners as their previous album? Probably not, but comparing it to Teen Dream beyond that just wouldn’t be fair. So let’s take a look at it for what it is: Another soulful record in every respect that’s filled with medium-to-faster-tempo tracks that highlight everything that’s always been great about Beach House. While the flow of the album is smoother than it’s ever been before, the songs don’t typically start and end the way you think they might. There were multiple times where they’d begin softly and build to a full orchestration, while other times remained soft or began and ended strong. And basically anything that keeps me guessing will always be listened-to multiple times, so I already knew that this would have to get a lot of play just to get the feel of it… which is good for everyone. Plus, the addition of a bonus track at the end was a nice touch that I actually kinda miss from a lot of bands.
Overall, I’d say that I only have minor grievances here and there but as a whole, Bloom is every bit as solid as their last record; which is how most people will ultimately judge it. It’s no Teen Dream, but if it were, I’d hate them for pumping out the same thing twice in a row. Artists should grow with every new record because once they stop growing, they’re no longer artists. Bravo, Beach House…8.5/10