- 21 Sep 18
This stunning sophomore album has some big hooks and personality
For those thinking modern pop is safe and generic, South African/Aussie singer Troye Sivan makes a convincing counter-argument. While his banger singles like ‘Dance to This’ – featuring Ariana Grande – could be mistaken for standard dance-pop, there’s more to Sivan than meets the eye.
His second album, Bloom, is a remarkably confident concept record, chronicling a young person’s quest for identity. The LP launches into this theme with ‘Seventeen’, a soft, twinkly tune about a young man losing his virginity to someone older: “I got these beliefs that I think you want to break / Got something here to lose that I know you want to take”. ‘My My My!’ follows, an unapologetically upbeat track about falling head over heels for someone. If that sounds twee, Sivan here – as well as on the title track and ‘Lucky Strike’ – is refreshingly upfront in celebrating physical intimacy.
His lyrics are never smutty, instead favouring clever metaphors and subtle innuendo, and showcasing songwriting craft well beyond his years. Unlike many pop albums, Bloom has no filler; Sivan keeps things tight at 37 minutes. Even the slow songs impress. Break-up ballad ‘The Good Side’ – with its acoustic guitar and soft swirling synths – could make a Sufjan Stevens record, while the achingly romantic closer ‘Animal’ brings the LP full circle. Now Sivan is comfortable with himself, telling the person he loves: “I am an animal for you / I’ll die to care for you”. Bright, brash but hiding layers of tenderness, Sivan’s latest shows a new pop star in full bloom.