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Beach House - 'Bloom'

by CoraOMalley
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on 15 May 2012 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Bella Union
Rating 8/10

Beach House were put on the map with 'Teen Dream' two years ago, and those who were expecting the duo to take a detour into unpredictable sonic territory will be disappointed with 'Bloom'. The rest of us will be too busy basking in the glow of this extraordinarily lush-sounding album to notice. Opening with 'Myth' is a bold move, but it sets up the album very well indeed, as well as being a great indicator of what it is: more-or-less an updated take on the album that got them noticed. Reinvention for its own sake would have come off as forced, and it's difficult to fault them for sticking to what they do best, because, as songs like 'Lazuli' and 'New Year' prove, they do it exceedingly well. Victoria Legrand's vocals sometimes come off as slightly disinterested - indeed, they start the album sounding that way - but she saves her two best performances for last, on album highlight 'On the Sea' and the extraordinarily powerful seven-minute closer 'Irene'. On first listen, 'Bloom' sounds a little slight, but it is a true grower: on further listens, it's confirmed as one of the most euphoric and downright brilliant albums of the year.


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