A Review of Troye Sivan's "Bloom"
On August 31, Troye Sivan’s second album, Bloom, was released after months of anticipation and it did not disappoint! Many people know Troye through his popular YouTube channel from back in 2012. His first album Blue Neighborhood was released in 2015, but it was clear that Bloom was going to be something completely different from anything Troye has released before. Troye is considered by many to be a gay icon, and over the past few years, he has developed a unique look and sound that caters to the LGBTQ+ community. The lyrics in this album talk about various experiences that queer people face without holding anything back. Add in the dark pop songs that make you dance, and you have an album that will be an anthem for the lives of queer people everywhere.
The opening song on the album, Seventeen, allows you to dive right in as Troye sings about a sexual experience he had when he was seventeen years old with a man he met on Grindr that is as nostalgic as it is creepy. In an interview with Project U, Troye explains that the point of the song is to show how unfortunately common he believes it is for queer youth to search for love and acceptance with older men and women, even if it might not be the safest situation.
The songs “My My My!” and “Dance to This” are both lively, upbeat songs about love, freedom, and acceptance. “My My My!” will undoubtedly make you want to dance alone in your bedroom. Troye spoke about the theme in a press release, saying “Be present in your body, love wholeheartedly, move the way you've always wanted to, and dance the way you feel—hopefully, even to this song." This quote perfectly describes how the song makes you feel. Although it says it right in the title, “Dance to This” is a song about being with the person you love, not wanting to go to clubs or parties, but instead wanting to spend time alone together, dancing foolishly to songs on the kitchen radio. While “My My My!” is cheerful and liberating, “Dance to This” has relaxed ‘80s pop vibes, featuring the dreamy voice of Ariana Grande in the second verse.
There are three breakup songs on the album, but that doesn’t mean they’re all sad and depressing. In fact, the song “Plum” is one of the most upbeat songs on the album that uses the imagery of rotting fruit to describe a relationship that is close to ending. The song “The Good Side” is an unconventional love song about being the one to break up with another person. When talking to Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1, Troye described it is an open letter to an ex-boyfriend, apologizing for leaving the other heartbroken. It is probably the saddest song on the album, and the guitar at the beginning gives it an acoustic vibe. “Postcard” featuring Gordi is another one of the sadder songs on the album, where Troye refers to an ex-boyfriend who was emotionally unavailable, and it is about the moment when you realize that your partner is not as perfect as you thought.
Steering away from the emotional songs, the songs “Bloom” and “Lucky Strike” are a bit more risqué. In an interview with Popjustice, Troye described “Bloom” as "the most subversively queer song on the album,” and he hopes to “play that song at every Pride." The music video is flamboyant and vibrant, showcasing Troye singing in drag, surrounded by flowers, and posing with muscled Greek sculptures. “Lucky Strike” has similar themes, discussing desire for another boy, and using the imagery of cigarettes and smoke to describe the addicting feeling of love.
The songs “What a Heavenly Way to Die” and “Animal” are the most romantic songs on the album, slowing it down from the usual dance-pop sound. “What a Heavenly Way to Die” is a sweet song about being with the person you love until you’re old—a forever kind of love. “Animal” is the last song on the album and it is the perfect song to end Bloom. Troye has described the song as a "five-minute 80s stadium love song” about his current boyfriend, Jacob Bixenman. This is my favourite song on the album, as the passionate lyrics and raw vocals remind me of the epic first loves you see in the movies.
Troye Sivan is definitely a pop icon whose music inspires the LGBTQ+ community around the world and I am so excited to see how his music translates to stage during his live performances! I hope everyone has enjoyed Bloom as much as I have.