Saturday, 2 June 2012

Review: Beach House - Bloom

 Dream pop duo Beach House have always managed to use the sparkling style of atmospheric indie anthems to gain a wide amount of recognition from those they've been able to charm with their glossily produced anthems filled with organic and challenging musical arrangement. All their albums have led to major success both critical and commercial. As they approach the stage of releasing a fourth album while still remaining relatively unknown, many bands in a similar position would use this moment as a time to really show everyone what they're made of. In the case of Beach House, on their fourth release Bloom things are as laid back as ever.

 One more the Baltimore duo unleash their chilled array of synth pop tunes filled with subtly strong melodies disguised in delicate beats awash with infectious hooks and lush synthesizer backdrops with Myth and The Hours having the graceful charm of a lighter This Mortal Coil and On the Sea containing the kind of swinging sing-along melodies that any Arcade Fire fan would be able to admire.
 The layerings of keyboard pianos guitars and the occasional piece of organ all work together wonderfully on the album, creating the buildup of an atmosphere with a sound that is positively otherworldly and touching, allowing listeners to lose themselves in the ethereal sound of Lazuli and Other People.
 As charming as the music is, it's actually a little different for me to think of any other possible comment to make. Maybe a greater pop mentality than I've ever been able to absorb is required to last the endurance of an album like this and maybe it's because I've been hearing more good riffs around me than ever but for me, this musical style can only entertain for so long. As the album goes on, the duo's performance just becomes stuck in one place and Troublemaker, New Year and Wishes all seem to merge into each other without anything to make them truly distinguishable and by the time we reach the closer Irene to find that an eight minute gap exists between the song and a bonus track, one must as wether it's actually worth hanging on for those minutes to find basically the same thing we've heard all album. Maybe people with a greater ear for pop music as a whole think the same. I couldn't possibly tell. It's just me asking for a little more sparks and dynamism.
 And with me asking for more sparks and dynamism in an album by a synth pop duo that have always kept things on a mellow line, I end this album realising it's something sophisticated where being fun doesn't serve as a priority, therefore making me an unsophisticated immature listener for being unable to identify it's fully encompassing richness. But then, I'd rather have something fun and full of life than a collection of songs that while starting off charming also carry a sense of lifelessness resulting in a full inability for listeners like myself trying to boost their indie cred to hang on. I need something guitar heavy, packed with adrenaline and mind-blasting-ly fun to listen to now...

 Beach House's Bloom is out now via Bella Union. The band will play at End of the Road Festival at Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury from 31st August-2nd September and will play at the London Roundhouse on 2nd November.

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