Album Review: Blue Neighbourhood – Troye Sivan

Many hipsters and Youtube fanatics alike know Troye Sivan, mostly for his popular videos. As of September of 2015, in fact, Sivan had over 3.6 million subscribers on Youtube. Hailing from Australia, the young star has been in several movies as a main character, as well as continuing his ever-growing internet presence. However, Sivan has recently made his debut in the music world, releasing an album entitled Blue Neighbourhood.

blueneighborhood.jpg
The album cover

The first track on the album, WILD, starts with the singer’s soft voice accompanied by a soft voice. The song sounds similar to Halsey’s recent album, BADLANDS, with the same dreamy vocals and gorgeous background music. Although there’s no title track, the song’s chorus shouts out the title of the album, proclaiming, “leave this blue neighbourhood”. WILD ends with a slow fadeout of children’s voices singing “wild” over and over. The second track, BITE, starts without obvious background instrumentals. Instead, it features Sivan’s purposefully autotuned voice layered over his regular voice. The song then goes into an echoey, almost melancholy feeling with layered vocals and almost-haunting melodies. The next song, FOOLS, begins quietly, but in the first minute, transitions from the gentle piano track it starts as to a dream pop, Halsey-esque song, to a new-age Bieber track at the chorus. The next song, EASE, features Broods, a music duo from New Zealand. Georgia Nott, the vocalist of Broods, compliments Sivan’s voice nicely with her high, flutey voice. Nott is given a solo as the bridge, and her gorgeous head voice closes out the song with Sivan. COOL, the eighth track, starts differently than the rest, and has more syncopated beats. This song features lower vocals from Sivan, who seems to favor a higher range to fit the genre. COOL also features a marimba and other instruments in the background, which may subtly allude to Sivan’s birthplace – South Africa. for him., the twelfth track, is the only song on the album that has lowercase letters in the title. Sivan has said in an interview about the song that it was written for “someone special”, most likely his boyfriend. The track is an adorable, modern love song that’s surprisingly pop while having alternative lyrics. Allday is featured in the song, and has a short rapped verse near the end. At one point, Allday states, “I’d panic at the disco and you’d rather watch a TV show”. This line shows that although one person in a relationship might want to relax, the other would rather go out clubbing. The line could also be interpreted as a not-so-subtle reference to the popular pop-punk band, Panic! At The Disco.

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A thumbnail from one of Sivan’s Youtube videos.

All in all, Blue Neighbourhood is a fantastic example of dream pop. It combines Halsey and Justin Bieber-like sounds, but it is much more unique than a copy of two artists. Although Sivan is a popular Youtuber, his music is a fantastic example of how alternative is coming back in style.

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