Album Review: Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood
It’s been a wild year for Troye Sivan. Since his major label debut with the TRXYE EP last year, hype for his eventual studio album has been gradually building. The release of his second EP WILD—our proverbial first taste of the album, as Sivan himself put it—only caused the situation to escalate, reaching the top 5 of the charts in multiple countries. Now we have come to the climax with the release of Blue Neighbourhood, and it’s safe to say that the result more than lived up to the hype.
Calling the WILD EP an introduction to Blue Neighbourhood was more literal than anyone could have expected: The deluxe edition of the album opens with the EP’s seven tracks in order; an initially strange move, but one that makes perfect sense in the context of the album. The flow between these tracks is impeccable, with the glittery synthpop of the song WILD setting the tone of the album perfectly and the remainder of the tracks establishing the sound; Even though the synthpop style is consistent with his previous releases, it takes many forms, from the contrasting piano and trap sections of BITE to the grand strings of TALK ME DOWN.
Beyond the returning tracks, though, the material only gets stronger. The jittery beats and calm, collected atmosphere of COOL open the new section of the album amazingly well, with its minimal yet intelligent melodies and effects of its chorus standing out more than any of the album’s more bombastic tracks. The piano-centric hip-hop of for you is the album’s biggest departure, with an infectious beat that stands out and suits Sivan’s smooth vocals perfectly. Closing with the wobbling basslines of TOO GOOD and the strings and piano balladry of BLUE, it’s actually amazing how much ground the album covers without exiting the realm of synthpop. Even Sivan’s lyrics, which exist in that crossroads of the concepts of youth and love, avoid entering an uncomfortable or awkward stage that can come with these topics; even the songs written by Sivan without assistance, LOST BOY and SUBURBIA, have amazingly written lyrics. Considering his musical talents despite his age, it just makes Blue Neighbourhood an even more impressive feat.
Between a talented array of producers, great lyrics and an eerily pleasant voice, Blue Neighbourhood everything that an album needs to truly make an impact. If you were under the impression that his EPs may have just been a fluke, this album will surely change your mind. Standing tall with one of the absolute best debut albums of 2015, Troye Sivan just marked himself as one of the strongest young pop stars in the game.