Beach House certainly weren't the first to bust out the retro synths and easy going beats in the dream pop scene, but I think we can all agree that they're basically governing it by now. Since their 2006 self-titled debut, this duo has been churning out a consistent line of dreamy melodies, characterized by simple beats, blissful guitar lines, and lead-singer Victoria Legrand's vocals, which I can only describe as a crossover of the soul of Robert Plant and the rasp of Janis Joplin (though not quite as raspy).
Bloom starts out with a beat that sounds like it was made by randomly selecting a couple drum packs from Fruity Loops (pretty off-putting at first), and then the familiarity immediately flows back with those first reverb-packed guitar notes. As the song continues, it's pretty apparent that Beach House are exactly who they were a year ago. The rest of the record pretty much plays out as you would expect from these guys, with nothing to really throw you off. If anything changed, I guess it would be that the beats here are even more basic, but that's why they work so well with the songs. The record sort of plays like a filter. All of the watery stuff gets flushed out and forgotten, while the stuff that holds weight and substance remains to swirl around in the back of our minds happily. Moments like this include Myth, the euphoric opening of Lazuli, the distant guitar on On the Sea, where Victoria seems like she's really getting into it, The Hours, and Wishes. Also Irene, the warm 7-minute conclusion, has a strangely pleasant one-note-drive in the middle that you would think would get monotonous quick, but ends up making the track a whole lot better.
While the positives outweighing the negatives, Bloom doesn't exceed my expectations, but it certainly takes 50 minutes of my life and shows it a good time. Sure it's essentially their previous albums with a different face, but honestly, I'm perfectly fine with that. They've found their niche in the music scene, and they're still rocking, or rather "popping" it with all they've got.