Beach House - Bloom

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8.5 Release Date:2012-05-15

When you release an album as good as 2010's Teen Dream, it's difficult to see where you push on from such monolithic proportions. However, when you are Baltimore's less-than-prodigal duo, you lock yourself away and come back with something that finds you continuing to push your own brand of minimal electro-dream-pop.

They start with the smooth and spacey layers of 'Myth'. What is instantly different to their last long-player is that it seems less claustrophobic, much brighter and uplifting. Could it be possible it reflected the band's mood at the time of writing? Their roots still lie in the easy going rhythms while the ethereal vocals can't go without being heavily redolent of The Cocteau Twins.

The basic and at times analogue sounding equipment complements the fragile vocal of Victoria Legrand perfectly. Beach House know how to write the perfect pop song without the need to overdub their sound or even flab out their songs with irrelevant noodling and elaborate vocals. If Mazzy Star were ever reincarnated bereft of guitars and left with Beach House's equipment then this is what they would sound like.

Alex Scally weaves his magic and is almost like the Johnny Marr of electro as he manages to wring out some simply marvellous melodies throughout. His spangly staccato guitar and fairground organ sit perfectly together melding the beauty that is 'Troublemaker'. 'New Year' even has a haunting opening similar to The Smith's 'I Started Something I Couldn't Finish' before the one-punch drum beat gathers pace sitting pretty against the chiming guitar loop.

Beach House have once again defied the odds to show they can build on such strong previous offerings and continue to produce the same warming, relevant and quite frankly mellifluously brilliance without compromising their sound.

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