Bloom - Beach House
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. May 14, 2012
    100
    This is an album that is simply, in the most awe-inspired sense of the term, absolutely golden from end to end – a real treasure and an utter delight to experience every time you play it.
  2. Countering the depressive undertow, that form is both a spiritual triumph and the aural equivalent of Jesus and Mary Chain frosting a birthday cake.
  3. May 15, 2012
    91
    With Bloom, they have mastered their sultry formula.
  4. May 14, 2012
    91
    "Bloom" is also what these 10 songs do, each one starting with the sizzle of a lit fuse and at some fine moment exploding like a firework in slow motion.
  5. 90
    Bloom culminates six years and three albums of anticipatory ache with subtlety and meticulous song placement that unfolds if you let it.
  6. May 14, 2012
    90
    In 2006, it seemed like Beach House couldn't outlive Beach House. In 2012, Bloom is the bar to clear.
  7. When a flower blooms, it changes shape and appearance but not its biological essence; similarly, for all its subtle differences, Bloom avoids shedding the bittersweet swells that have become the duo's stock-and-trade.
  8. May 15, 2012
    86
    If Beach House's last record was a teen dream, this is an adult version: Bloom is a matured, ethereal journey.
  9. Jun 1, 2012
    82
    The style of songwriting is remarkably similar to that found on Teen Dream. Yet neither suffers much for it.
  10. Jul 18, 2012
    80
    It is a lot like Teen dream, but novelty is hardly the point: if Beach House are your type, then Bloom is unlikely to see the attraction wither. [Jun 2012, p.93]
  11. Jun 20, 2012
    80
    Bloom is one of those rare records that skirt close to perfection, an effortless and intriguing listen that can't help but drag a more significant audience into Bloom's orbit. [Jun 2012, p.98]
  12. May 18, 2012
    80
    It's not the band's most immediate music, but the album's challenging mix of heartbroken words and aloof sounds rewards patient and repeated listening.
  13. May 18, 2012
    80
    There's a cocktail cool to "Troublemaker" that goes nicely with the singer's Nico-on-a-bender routine. And "Irene" with its hypnotic refrain and ice-thawing emotionalism is the sort of heartbreaking melody that made you fall in love with the pair in the first place.
  14. May 16, 2012
    80
    Bloom leans heavily on that push-and-pull dynamic and the results are hugely effective, affecting and ultimately beautiful.
  15. May 15, 2012
    80
    In the end, Bloom isn't a huge progression for Beach House, but rather a lateral step for the group.
  16. 80
    The impact of Bloom lingers long after Scally's last guitar moan and Legrand's last breathy sigh, making you want to cue it up all over again and wallow anew in Beach House's existential abyss.
  17. May 15, 2012
    80
    A truly astonishing, unique and unchallenged sound.
  18. May 14, 2012
    80
    Beach House's fourth and most sumptuous album.
  19. [On Bloom] Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have finessed their vision to perfection.
  20. May 11, 2012
    80
    It's always a perfect pairing of nostalgia and wistfulness with these two, who serve up these completely affecting but somehow ethereal moods you can't quite put your finger on.
  21. May 9, 2012
    80
    The consistency and linear aspect of Bloom ensures it is, as the band recommend, best experienced as an whole.
  22. May 9, 2012
    80
    Once you manage to pull away from Bloom's magnified scenery and consider the record as a whole it's difficult to think of it as anything other than its makers' best work so far.
  23. May 7, 2012
    80
    They have crafted an album that feels very much like the score for an imaginary film--an avant-garde French film, to be precise, an extended nocturne encompassing romance and its aftermath, the inexorable passage of time, and the preciousness of the fleeting moment. [Jun 2012, p.81]
  24. 80
    Bloom is a sonic boomerang: resist if you must, but you'll inevitably end up right back where you started - sucked into their heavenly sonic utopia.
  25. May 7, 2012
    80
    Lovely as it is, Bloom makes no big departures and takes no risks. If you wanted Teen Dream all over again, and god knows there are plenty of people who do, this is your record.
  26. 80
    Bloom is as fetching a record as any in Beach House's growing canon of work.
  27. May 16, 2012
    70
    The album is solid and consistent, just not as bold as it could have and should have been.
  28. May 15, 2012
    70
    The melodies, guitar­scapes and thrift-shop organ swells make for exquisite comfort.
  29. 70
    The band are increasingly clever at turning a melody inside out to evoke those moments of dizzy-making clarity.
  30. May 14, 2012
    70
    Bloom oozes simplicity, honesty and contentness. It will be a welcome sound of summer for 'Teen Dream' fans, but don't expect anything too radical.
  31. May 14, 2012
    70
    Whilst good still, with Bloom comes the first seeds of doubt that maybe there isn't actually much below the surface--albeit it for many that's probably the source of their allure.
  32. May 11, 2012
    70
    The sound is more polished than the old bedroom-pop days, but four albums in, it is getting a little same-y. [No.87, p.52]
  33. May 15, 2012
    63
    It all makes for a lovely lullaby of an album, but it just doesn't result in many songs.
  34. May 14, 2012
    63
    It adds up to an album that presents a fluffier version of an already pillow-soft sound.
  35. Jul 2, 2012
    60
    Bloom has continued making Beach House a Thing in indie music, a band that has a feasible future, that won't be just forgotten and left by the wayside. It's nothing to get excited about.
  36. May 18, 2012
    60
    Where once this cut deep, extended, it discloses itself merely as pleasant and pleasantly familiar.
  37. May 15, 2012
    60
    Bloom is in part brilliant but maddeningly safe and, ultimately, is a decidedly unsatisfying listen.
  38. May 14, 2012
    60
    An anthology of pretty but aimless ambient rock, and a starkly disappointing regression after the thoughtfulness of 2010's Teen Dream.
  39. May 14, 2012
    60
    You can have too much gauze and balm; if only Legrand and Scally could find a slightly different gear.
  40. May 10, 2012
    60
    It's beautiful, spectral, dreamy, but never makes your pulse quicken.
  41. May 10, 2012
    60
    The record tends to fade into the background and become something so indistinct that it's forgettable, even after multiple listens.
  42. May 10, 2012
    60
    Bloom is consistent in quality, and there isn't a single bad song. It just feels like they spent too much time worrying about production and not enough time songwriting.
  43. May 15, 2012
    50
    The songwriting [on Bloom] is rarely stronger [than on previous albums], never different, and more hit-and-miss than I thought Beach House were capable of. It's not their worst record, but it's already their most tired, and that should never, ever happen on a fourth LP. But at least it's pretty.
  44. Jul 19, 2012
    40
    Melodies, hooks, and choruses evince Beach House's candy core, but the nonexistent separation of sound makes the Blooming disc sound as if it's filtered through a dryer vent.
  45. 40
    Pleasantly undemanding for a few tracks, the album just seems to evaporate away halfway through, as if even its creators couldn't retain interest in it, either.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 137 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. May 15, 2012
    10
    The band's strongest work yet. Beach House has continually progressed dropping weak points and refining the positive points. It culminates in this masterpiece, "Bloom". It really grabs me emotionally particularly on the second half of the album. This is so much more than pretty melodies and rhythms. The entire album is meticulously crafted. It holds up to severe scrutiny. There is no fluff. It is a nearly flawless record from beginning to end. Full Review »
  2. May 16, 2012
    9
    Taken as a whole, this album was consistently better than Teen Dream. The highs weren't quite as high, but the lows weren't as low. I don't understand criticism that their sound hasn't been retooled much, this time around it all sounds much bigger, more involved and deliberate. Full Review »
  3. Jul 25, 2012
    10
    Many, including myself, wondered how beach house could possibly follow up their 2010 masterpiece Teen Dream. Beach House responded to this doubt by creating their largest and most elegant record to date, Bloom, an utter masterpiece. Bloom is one of the finest records created in the 21st century. The tracks are massive in scope, starting out small and quiet, slowly building towards their eventual greatness.

    I will attest to the fact that I generally consider lyrics to be very unimportant as, in my opinion, they are the most superficial aspect of music and are not representative of true musical talent or ability; however, I will fully admit that Bloom has some of the best lyrics and lyrical songwriting that I have heard; Victoria and Alex truly know how to write strong, meaningful songs.

    Victoria's voice on this album is absolutely incredible, she has one of the most beautiful and elegant voices in music; incredible range and a very unique timbre. She may be currently my favourite vocalist.

    I find the entire album to be incredible, however, if I would recommend for new listeners and previous beach house fans to check out Troublemaker, The Hours, Lazuli and Myth as these are the standouts IMO, however, like I said the entire album is incredible

    Already in May i think I have heard the best album of the year, Bloom, an album that is likely to be studied by musicians, critics and music theorists alike and recalled as the best work that of the 2000s/2010s dreampop movement.
    Full Review »