ALBUM REVIEW: Troye Sivan - Blue Neighbourhood

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

If you’re not up to speed with the ‘internet generation’ or the idea of ‘YouTube sensations’ than Troye Sivan may not be a familiar name to you ears. Yet, to millions of young individuals across the globe the name, Troye Sivan means so many things… from: Youtuber to role model to friend; Sivan connects with a generation who have the world at their finger tips. 

The young 20 year old who was named as one of Times Magazine’s top 25 most influential teens last year, has just released his debut album Blue Neighbourhood. Having already received raving reviews from the likes of Rolling Stones, Blue Neighbourhood is an album impacting the Internet generation in a massive way.

The album opens with the familiar 6 tracks we heard on his EP WILD. This is an EP that caught the attention of Taylor Swift, (We’re still unsure if Troye has completely recovered from this interaction). Opening track “WILD” is one of the biggest bops on the album, it dips and jumps through erratic, electronic production, whilst the chants of “W-I-I-IIILLD” flow through the chorus, creating a singsong hit. One of the darker tracks on the album, “BITE” allows us to delve into Sivan’s first experience at a gay bar. The deep lyrics contrast to the youthful, lullaby production, which is full of pops, synth and melodies that we’d expect on a Melanie Martinez track.

A unique element to this album is the fact Sivan has surrounded himself with talented, young contributors. He has collaborated with New Zealand duo Broods on his dreamy track “EASE” which has Sivan yearning for home, “And home has never felt this far.” He called upon Australian Pocket Rocket Tkay Maidza to join him on the fire track “DKLA”. Australian Rapper Allday Chubby Boy joins Sivan on the ‘sickeningly sweet’ pop love song “for him.” Even pop Queen Betty Who has been called in by Sivan to accompany him on the painfully honest and emotionally vulnerable track “HEAVEN”.

Amongst all of these collaborations though comes “BLUE”, by far one of the most anticipated tracks of the album as Sivan teams up with Alex Hope, the superstar who has worked endlessly with Sivan producing this album. She can be heard throughout the tracks in the lyrics, production and even backing vocals and that’s what makes this duet so special. Hope’s dreamy vocals flow weightlessly through the track as Sivan’s vocals join her to create a magic harmony during the chorus. We hope to one day hear more from Hope.

You’ll find yourself lost in thought and bliss as the youthful tracks like: “COOL”, “LOST BOY” and “YOUTH” take you on a journey. Hidden amongst these lustrous and simplistic gems is “SUBURBIA”. A glittery track that opens with a radio-sounding hum of Sivan’s vocals, which fade out as verse 1 begins, “Did you hear me on the radio? Did you turn it up?”. This little element cleverly creates an atmosphere of cruising down the highway with a loved one, sharing stories from your childhood. By the end of this track you’ll find yourself caught up in nostalgia as you reminisce about your first love, “Love is so good when love is young”.

A major stand out and one of the more mature tracks on the album “TOO GOOD” breaks away from the synth heavy production found in most of the tracks as Sivan shows us  his sensual side. Alternatively named the “Sex Song” lyrics like ‘that liquid guilt on my lips, I’m wasted on you” are intoxicating as Sivan opens up about the turmoil of a passionate relationship and the lust it brings.

The album finishes on a high note with the “WILD (XXYYXX)” remix. Personally I’ve never been a fan of a remix but XXYYXX have done an incredible job on the track. It’s definitely a remix I’ll be pumping at parties over the summer.

Sivan has created an album full of synth-pop hits that are cohesive. Each track flows onto the next as production elements are shared between songs as heard between “FOOLS” and “TALK ME DOWN”. The song writing is mature yet youthful, Sivan isn’t afraid to use male pronouns and write about how love can be messy and heartbreaking but also passionate and innocent.

 If you listen to one album this week make it Blue Neighbourhood by Troye Sivan. He may only be 20 but his ability to make good pop music with meaningful lyrics is incredible. This is only the beginning of Sivan’s long music career and we can’t wait to follow him on this journey.

Written by Gabrielle Clement 

Release date: December 4th