Singer-songwriter Troye Sivan is known by many titles, from YouTube personality to the gay icon of this generation — something he’s refused to accept. Now, he’s attaining the title of pop star.
Having built a massive internet following with regular blog and music postings over the years, Sivan hasn’t had trouble keeping his fans captivated as his impressive music career develops. His second studio album, “Bloom,” has earned a justified amount of attention since it came out Aug. 31, featuring 10 tracks that offer fresh perspectives and vulnerable lyrics.
The 23-year-old pop vocalist’s music career took off in 2013 when he first signed with EMI, a Universal Music Australia label, and released his extended play “TRXYE.” Sivan then went on to release another extended play in September 2015 titled “Wild,” which ultimately led later that year to the December release of his first studio album, “Blue Neighborhood.”
“Bloom” takes a step away from Sivan’s previous quick, upbeat tracks and instead offers lighter sounds that radiate brilliance through all 37 minutes of the total album duration.
While “Blue Neighborhood” was a more fleshed-out follow-up to “TRXYE” with pop melodies balancing out underlying messages dealing with desperation, love and acceptance, “Bloom” is simply balanced. The low-tempo tracks give listeners a look into a heavier, more personal side of Sivan where he explores sexual identity by recounting his own sexual experiences, all while still covering the upbeat emotions that come with a new romance.
The album opener, “Seventeen,” comes off as tangled and emotional, with Sivan describing an intimate, romantic encounter he experienced at age 17.
The track reveals the lustful feelings that allude to a potential first experience of intimacy through lyrics such as “I got these beliefs that I think you want to break / Got something here to lose that I think you want to take.” The tune is very relaxed and sensual, featuring a slow beat to accompany Sivan’s stripped-down vocals.
The album then transitions into hit single “My My My!,” which was quite friendly with popular radio stations this summer. The single takes some inspiration from ‘80s disco. Sivan’s freedom through voice is contagious in his ability to capture listeners with the the hook, “Oh my, my, my / I die every night with you / Oh my, my, my / Living for your every move.”
“My My My!” is one of the highlights of “Bloom,” with its irresistible beats and matching light show in an accompanying music video. The track shows a more mature side of Sivan, one willing to experiment with different, more old-school pop influences.
The track “Postcard,” featuring Australian singer-songwriter Gordi, offers a polar opposite to the energy provided in “My My My!” This piece integrates light piano instrumentals with the voices of the two Australian natives who come together in simultaneously sung verses, with the exception of the bridge where Gordi is featured alone. The ballad has a haunting element to it with the lyrics, “You’re still picking me up / Don’t you put me back down / Like it’s nothing to ya.”
Pop music icon Ariana Grande also makes an appearance in “Bloom.” “Dance to This” radiates simplicity through the strong vocals of both the singers and features a percussive focus. The decision to include Grande on this album was a good one, proving Sivan’s true breakthrough into mainstream pop.
“Bloom” is accompanied by three music videos for tracks “Bloom,” “Dance To This” and “My My My!”
With over 11 million views, the video for “Bloom” instantly captures the attention of audiences, featuring Sivan in various outfits accompanied by visuals that switch between flowers, statuettes and stills of men touching their bodies.
“Dance To This” is a less abstract video, with Sivan singing and dancing in front of a dried-out audience that fails to show interest even when Grande joins him on stage.
The video to “My My My!” is the simplest out of the three, with black and white scenes of Sivan dancing and singing contrasted with a few in color.
Sivan has taken his fans through a journey of maturity over the years and is giving listeners a glimpse into what it means to be truly confident and comfortable with who you are through “Bloom.” This album will be remembered as a step forward for Sivan on his way to becoming a pop icon — a title he will hopefully be more receptive to than “gay icon.”
Sivan is on tour right now, and the closest to Pittsburgh he’ll be performing is a four-hour drive to The Anthem in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4.