Beach House
Bloom


3.0
good

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
July 1st, 2012 | 115 replies | 16,748 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The most consistent band, in the worst way

Is it okay to sound exactly like another band? Flying Lotus, in a tweet that was widely (but maybe inaccurately?) interpreted as a diss, wondered this after listening to Beach House’s newest, Bloom, and I have asked myself the same question with each spin of my own. I mean, even if you disagree for some odd reason that Bloom sounds exactly like records by Cocteau Twins or countless other dream-pop acts, it’s at least pretty impossible to deny that Bloom represents some of the least amount of progression from one record to another of our major indie acts.

And I guess this is okay, because Bloom is still a good record, one I’ve listened to pretty consistently since its leak. It’s the work of a confident band that whittled down their sound to a point back in 08, and are perfectly content in revisiting this sound every few years or so, with minor variations here and there. It’s not like each new Beach House record is a case of diminishing returns, either: Bloom is as good as or better than Teen Dream, depending on, in my experience, the associations and feelings of the listener compared to when first having listened to the record; it’s harder, however, to make a case of significant difference in quality between the two.

So, basically, what we have here is another solid Beach House Album. And the major tweak this time around boils down to production, because that’s what Beach House albums essentially boil down to, right? They’re pretty much all production, all sound, of whitewashed, shimmering guitars and airy vocals, Victoria Legrand singing lyrics that don’t matter and no one cares about, as long her voice hits the right tone that fits in with the tone of the guitars and the tone of the synths. Beach House practically assaults you with unassuming mid-tempo dream-pop, Bloom not excepted, its songs never getting too exciting or engaging but never for a second faltering, in quality or volume. Dynamics don’t exist with this band: they’re never loud or soft but constantly, maddeningly in the middle. Devotion and Teen Dream have established this winning formula (winning as in Best New Musics and increasingly larger font on festival posters), and Bloom has continued it.

But Bloom has also advanced it. For the first time, Beach House doesn’t sound like a bedroom act, destined to only be appreciated in sit-down venues, to be absolutely destroyed in a rock club. No: Bloom sounds larger and more expansive, the guitars shimmering more than they used to shimmer, the drums and bass benefiting enormously from a stronger low-end. “Myth,” for example, is practically percussion-driven, grounding a typical airy Beach House song, actually allowing their to-the-stars choruses and strong sense of melody to be appreciated, and not glossed over, by the listener.

So, yes, “Myth” and pretty much all the other songs on Bloom sound a little different, and a little better, than everything on Teen Dream or Devotion. But only just better, like Beach House mathematically determined how much of a *** they would have to give when recording Bloom for most people not to notice, to not get called out on. They haven’t really, thus far: Bloom has continued making Beach House a Thing in indie music, a band that has a feasible future, that won’t be just forgotten and left by the wayside. It’s nothing to get excited about, but, hey, what else would you want to listen to anyways?



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Chart.
3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
July 1st 2012



3743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this review was meant to be posted about two months ago but whatever

AggravatedYeti
July 1st 2012



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

*shrugs*

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2012



17114 Comments


omg.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2012



9994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

HAH yessssss cameron

charlesovfishovwitz
July 1st 2012



11 Comments


band licks buttsacks

Gyromania
July 1st 2012



14647 Comments


I'm a total sucker for stuff like this. Reminds me so much of Cocteau Twins, and they're one of my favourite bands.

Feels
July 1st 2012



247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You mean there's something that sounds just like this album? Sign me up!

Digging: I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism... - iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyour...

Gyromania
July 1st 2012



14647 Comments


Posted a couple of tracks to your wall. The first is just a personal favourite, otherwise it doesn't sound like much of what's presented here.

Tyrael
July 1st 2012



20394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

graaaaaaahhhhh

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Kiran
Emeritus
July 1st 2012



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review, cam. i didn't like this nearly as much as the last one, which i adored, but i enjoy it in a distanced sort of way nonetheless. it's always nice when a track comes on shuffle, i guess is what i'm saying.

tripdubs
July 1st 2012



4 Comments


honestly I'm getting tired of people talking about how beach house is boring or same-y. if you really listen to their music chronologically there is a very clear evolution and distinctly different sounds and emotions conveyed by their various releases. they are constantly maturing and refining their sound, just because they've figured out a formula of development means nothing regarding their talent or inspiration.

I love flylo, really, but he can fuck right off with his pretentious tweet or whatever. he, along with too many people that I've spoken with really just dont understand or dont have the ears to make it clear to them that this band is great and knows what they're doing.

I doubt I'll really sway anyone with this but hey, different strokes for different folks right?

camaraderie
July 1st 2012



988 Comments


None of this really grabbed me. I was rather disappointed.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2012



30294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Review is spot on

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2012



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

because Bloom is still a good record, one I’ve listened to pretty consistently since its leak.

Ha!

Digging: Caleb McAlpine - All Things New

PuddlesPuddles
July 2nd 2012



4684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ahhhh yesssssss.

poorzack
July 2nd 2012



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

where's dat flying lotus tweet?

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2012



6956 Comments


review nails it

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

someguest
July 2nd 2012



18874 Comments


Yeah, it all sounds similar. It might have something to do with the whole dream aspect of it.

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal

robin
Emeritus
July 2nd 2012



4221 Comments


i agree pretty much entirely with the review and yet.

AggravatedYeti
July 2nd 2012



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

much like Teen Dream this mofo may take time

ooohhhh wweeeellllllllllll.

also it is a bit lazy to lump these guys as "sounds exactly like Cocteau Twins"
they are quite different bands outside of the fact that they make dreamy pop music.

Cocteau were so much in tune with the lack of space in their songwriting-most of their early music is very claustrophobic.

Beach House, even as their first two records were a little lacking, have always worked with a wide-screen canvas.

I understand the vocal similarities but the comparison is a pretty weak justification.



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