The fourth album from Baltimore's Beach House is so much a world unto itself that getting inside it takes some effort. Every song is like an Arctic landscape: Victoria Legrand's husky voice skates across glacial keyboards and Alex Scully's shimmering guitar, layers of sound compacted together so tightly that no note feels inessential. It's a surprise when each track ends, because it could go on for ever, and if that suggests the music is a bit droning, well, it is. And yet, these are also totally conventional verse-chorus-middle-eight pop numbers, all more or less catchy, Myth and Other People particularly so. Nothing happens to shatter the perfect surface, either within individual songs or across the album as a whole, and that might be Bloom's problem. It's beautiful, spectral, dreamy, but never makes your pulse quicken. "It's a strange paradise," Legrand intones, over and over, in Irene, and she's right.
Beach House: Bloom – review