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Fourth studio album by the critically acclaimed dream pop duo. The follow-up to the very positively received 'Teen Dream' (2010), the album debuted at '15 in the UK Albums Chart and includes the song 'Lazuli'.
In one way or another Beach House records have always been about the essence of things. Their self-titled first record was characterised by simplicity: ticking drum machines, keys and electric guitar acted as lone backdrops for deceptively simple pop songs.
Tracks from that record, like Apple Orchard and Tokyo Witch, burned off any possible excesses and let melodies sit just so. On first blush Bloom is striking with its expanse and depth; but even in this more detailed surrounding Beach House are still after the same ideas of economy.
Opener Myth pirouettes on elementary percussion and a sparkling guitar line. A head of steam gathers slowly, becoming more textured and wild by increments. So that when Victoria Legrand finishes up the first chorus, singing "Let you know I'm not the only one," the rug is pulled out and the emptiness is all the more startling.
Even though parts of this song – and others on Bloom – can feel quite free-range, there's a solid construction to the way Beach House unravel such pieces. They tug in just the right directions, which can make for quite a deceptive listen. It's easy to be carried along by Bloom's easy sense of beauty, and much harder to trap exactly what it is that makes the record so charming.
The answer lies in small moments and tectonic rubs: the overlapping vocal at the end of Lazuli; Lagrand sliding The Hours into ecstasy late on; or the weightless guitar interlude in New Year. In truth, there are too many such moments to list, and it's probably more fun to discover them yourself. Those small workings of Bloom might not stick out at first but gently push songs towards blissful resolutions that somehow don't feel manipulative or at all corny.
It might sound strange but after spending time with the record what Bloom most calls to mind is macro photography. An extreme close-up shot often reveals hidden depths and textures of familiar subjects. So too with Beach House on this record; guitar lines are blown up, Legrand's vocals are heady and intense, while melodies reveal like time-lapse videos.
Once you manage to pull away from Bloom's magnified scenery and consider the record as a whole it's difficult to think of it as anything other than its makers’ best work so far.
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Top Customer Reviews
This really is absorbing and beautifully crafted music. I fully expect this to be in lots of year end best album lists in 2012.
In terms of the Baltimore duo's latest offering its safe to say that if you loved "Teen Dream" the romance is about to be rekindled. There is certainly progression on "Bloom" which makes it a cleaner more pure pop form of music but at the same time this album is certainly the first cousin of "TD" and if you had put the lovely opener "Myth" as the eleventh track on that album frankly no one would notice the joins. It is a scintillating pop song full of huge Legrand choruses and Scally instrumentation which concludes with a huge finale of bells, guitars synths, kitchen sinks et al. Next up is "Wild" a song which your reviewer has become so smitten with it is with a sense of regret that the third track comes on. It is a pounding shimmering pop song with a superb vocal and imbued with that latent regret that the sweet raspy voice of Legrand should seek a patent to protect. Equal wonders follow not least the lifting bliss of "Lazuli" (appropriately a stone, revered for its intense blue radiance) where music pundits have noticed the Liz Frazier dimensions of Legrand's huge vocal.Read more ›
The revolving riff on "Irene" from 3.30 on follwed by the flurry of cymbal crashes is so transcendentally stunning you'll wish the song goes on for a lot longer then it's 17 minute length (or that they'd filled the silence in between at least). The moaning MY bloody Valentine guitars in "New Year" always get me to, their filled with such nostalgic melancholy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic. Mislaid original copy, so had to purchase replacement quick!Published 4 months ago by catherine
Excellent album from Beach House on the Sub Pop Label. See the Pitchfork review. Be aware that Its one of those that plays at 45 rpm though.Published 6 months ago by MARTYN
Probably my favourite album of the last 10 years. I've played it to death and still love it. I bought this copy for a friend. Hope the forthcoming album is as good.Published 11 months ago by D. Smith
I can understand that people will dislike the sweet, soft melodies of Beach House, but personally I am a great fan of them. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Hans Westerlaken
Their best yet IMO. Listen to this classic on headphones and immerse yourself in beautiful music.Published 18 months ago by MmmBop