Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beach House: "Bloom" (album review)

Baltimore's Beach House have carved out a following among those music fans who gush for dreamy indie pop.  On May 15th they return, to what will undoubtedly be more gushing, with their fourth studio album, Bloom.

Beach House's problem has always been that they seem to shy away from anything challenging.  That issue has not been resolved on Bloom.  The album opener "Myth" is a flat sounding imitation of Mercury Rev.  The lead single "Lazuli" doesn't fair much better.  It's tepid in both pace and arrangement.

The music is pleasant enough.  One just wishes the band would take some greater risks and step out of the zone in which they are obviously very comfortable (almost to the point of complacency).  "Other People" is a perfect example.  It's a lovely melody that is let down by the arrangement.  There's no crescendo, no modulation, and no rhythm.  It simply exists.

There are some memorable moments on the album, which make the complacent ones even more frustrating. A shimmer and groove make "Wild" a toe-tapper.  The taut "Hours" swells-and-crashes.  "Troublemaker" contains one of the record's precious few bursts of true emotion.

Best tracks: "Wild", "Troublemaker"

Track listing for Bloom:
  • Myth
  • Wild
  • Lazuli
  • Other People
  • Hours
  • Troublemaker
  • New Year
  • Wishes
  • On the Sea
  • Irene

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