Seizing his moment with a tight set of glimmering pop confections, Australian singer/songwriter Troye Sivan embraces his role as a budding LGBT icon with Bloom, his aptly titled sophomore effort that signals his sexual awakening and personal growth into adulthood. On his 2016 debut, Blue Neighbourhood, fans met the boy; here, Sivan introduces them to a bold and fearless man. Brave and unapologetic, Bloom bursts forth with confidence, grace, and poise, allowing listeners to peek into a world that includes fumbles and mistakes, but also pure joy and romance. On the opener, "Seventeen," Sivan dives right in, recounting the loss of his virginity to an older man. Given the age gap, it's an uncomfortable but ultimately important moment for Sivan, both a rite of passage and endearing coming-of-age touchstone. From there, he spins between the dizzying extremes of young love, celebrating fleeting passions on the joyous "My My My!" and breezy innocence on the Ariana Grande-assisted "Dance to This" before lamenting the last gasps of a union on "Plum" and coming to terms with a breakup on the absolutely lovely "The Good Side." Additional highlights include the explicitly horny metaphor "Bloom" and the irresistible, 1975-esque "Lucky Strike." At a taut ten tracks, Bloom is an unambiguous statement from Sivan, clear in its intent to celebrate the highs and lows of queer love through the eyes of a proud pop star in the making.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung