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Beach House, the duo composed of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, released on May 15 its fourth studio album, putting the final word on their now acquired place between the ‘Greats’ of music. They have defined their own style through their previous records, and settled it with this one released today.
Though the previous albums released by the Baltimore duo have been well received by the critics, this last record, Bloom, rises above the others, showing that the musicians have refined their approach to their work, although not changing their intimate approach.
The album in itself is great, with a good concept behind it, dedication and commitment to a style that has been chosen by the dream-pop duo as representative of their craft. It is a refreshing and young approach to pop music and the level of professionalism shown is surely mature.
Legrand and Scally seem to move around on of the sides of dream-pop, forgetting about the post-punk influences of the style, as the sound is very pop. They do it really well though. The focus chosen helps creating a nostalgic and magical atmosphere that goes on for the entire album. ‘Myth,’ the opening track, strongly brings the listener into the mood, which is hard to escape once embraced.
The mood reminds you of a romantic old French movie, where the protagonist is struggling with some kind of issue with his or her self, related to the love of a young age, but actually nothing extreme or peculiar happens. The Baltimore duo seems to have focused less on lyrics for communication, but more as a vehicle for the use of the voice as an additional instrument, following the trend already set by other bands, such as the experienced Sigur Rós.
The album goes on smoothly, which is easy when you are playing in the same gear. This is the flaw of this album: due to its lack of variety, it gets old very soon. Some listeners might get frustrated after a couple of turns, as the songs create the anticipation that something is about to happen, that the music is about to explode — but it never happens.
Beach House is very good at what it does, although frankly, it could have done a bit more. In comparison to older albums by the band, there is a distinctive failure to self-innovate, not meaning radical change, but we do miss exploration. Alex Scally has said “I hate it when bands change between records, that’s not the way we work.” Yes, we noticed.
Bloom is definitely an album that deserves interest and on which refreshes the current pop scene. Beach House succeeded in taking a step further in this album, polishing the work done so far. Due to the talent demonstrated by the two musicians, it seems legit for us to expect them to improve even more, experimenting with more variety in the next album. In the meanwhile, let’s just enjoy what we got.
Rating: GREAT - 3.5/5