Beach House – Bloom

Sub Pop

There’s no doubt that Beach House reached a new peak of popularity with 2010’s Teen Dream an album that saw the Baltimore duo shed their charmingly shy beginnings for a grander more high-reaching approach. So it’s no surprise that followup Bloom sticks to that same tried and tested formula with the group opting to flesh out their sound rather than push it in some brave new direction. As a result we once again get a more pop-informed Beach House where Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally further streamline their old hazy soundscapes for more vivid electronic-tinged arrangements grasping even tighter to the shoegaze influence that periodically popped up on Teen Dream . And while lateral shifts are by no means always negative they do have a tendency to suck away some of the excitement a new record can bring. It also doesn’t help that Bloom ’s highlights such as “Myth” and “New Year” feel few and far between and never quite pack the same pop punch as older singles like “Norway” or “Walk in the Park.” By no means is Bloom a terrible record but it is a predictable one making the end result a little underwhelming.