Fans of Beach House, listen up. Their new album dropped and it sounds just like their last album. This is great news because when a band hits its stride the way Beach House has, you don't want them to change a thing. Teen Dream was the aural equivalent of being day drunk on wine, dutifully holding the dull of reality slightly at bay for its full running time. If you are like us, you wore Teen Dream's record grooves down to a smooth sheen from overuse and are ready for some new material capable of sending you on those short journeys of emotional detachment. Bloom gives us that. These ten songs take us to the same place and uses the same tools to get us there: slowly oscillating guitar lines, droning synth waves, tinny electro drum beats, and Victoria Le Grand's plummy, androgynous voice. Even when sticking so close to the original palette, Bloom manages to somehow sound more colorful than its predecessors, like it's painted on a larger canvas.
Opener "Myth" reaches ridiculous heights of glorious melancholy. How are they doing that? The guitar is only playing four notes over and over and it sounds like they brought in some bro to hit a crash cymbal in the back of the room every eight beats. Same as with most good music, the songs here are greater than the sum or their parts. "Wishes" is another example of this phenomenon. Its pace is so deliberate and unhurried, the vocals so swollen and restrained that its slow burning power sneaks up on you.
In a way, these are perfect summer songs. They're not sunny pop jams like most typical summer songs. These songs inhabit quieter summer moments, effectively grabbing the hands on your clock and bringing them to a temporary halt, stretching out the notoriously short season for a few fleeting moments.
By Philip Stone; May, 14 2012