Troye Sivan’s Bloom: An Ode to Youth and Identity

BY JOHN CARTER JR

Troye Sivan’s album, Bloom, is the epitome of gay iconography in the modern era. It exudes the ideas of sexual liberation and living with positive energy in your truest identity. Troye Sivan is an impressive young talent who graces us with the clear and loving vocalization that offers a poppy/colorful palette of songs. That isn’t all the album has to offer though. Songs like “We Can Just Dance To This” and “Bloom” stand in stark contrast to numbers such as “Seventeen”, “Animal”, and “The Good Side”.

A duet with Ariana Grande is only the smallest pleasure we enjoy in this album, and to see this album be performed live was such a delight. Let’s look at some of the highlight tracks of this album that represent the eclectic emotions this album has. Seeming only being limited by the lack of a more angry song in terms of the emotional spectrum.

We Can Just Dance To This:

Like earlier stated this album contains a duet with Ariana Grande that is simply delicious. “We Can Just Dance To This” is a simple song. It speaks of the lightheartedness of young love dancing in an everything setting under the kitchen lamp. It also has some themes that allude to the impulsivity of young people and the desire to be impulsive or ambitious or both at the same time. It is a song that tells you to break out and dance to the everyday noises or sounds of life around you. Lines such as:

“ under the kitchen lights

You still look like dynamite

And I wanna end up on you

Oh, don’t need no place to go

Just put on the radio

You know what I wanna do

We can just dance to this

Don’t take much to start me”

Simplify the message that is being in the moment, allowing ourselves to dance in the moment. It’s almost a message of mindfulness in a world that can be boring and slow. The concept that the world is boring and slow or can be in these dull moments is what is expressed in the music video. That particular contrast is important to the message of the song in that even though the world around them can be slow and boring they can make music out of the mundane sound of the world. They can take the gray noise and make it into something special in that one moment.

The Good Side

This song touches upon one of the lower or sad feelings in the emotional spectrum. It has touches of nostalgia and longing but is mostly apologetic for the way life had gone. In this song, Troye is confronted with what is assumed to be an ex-partner saying that he apologizes for when he left the relationship and left the narrator destroyed, while he got the good or better side of life. Not because his partner was out of his life but it just happened to be the case that when he left, for whatever the reason was, his former partner had to deal with a much more painful and sorrowful aftermath. It’s a really emotional key for people who still love each other but must say goodbye because life has to pull them in a different direction.

Troye is able to express a sort of hypothetical dialogue that he would have with this partner if he was given the chance. Whether or not this story leads to them getting back together or just seeing each other for a short time is unknown, and this hypothetical is often contemplated on by plenty of people who are broken up with. Those of which who have been left with no answers to their plethora of questions.

“I got the good side of things

Left you with both of the rings

My fingers danced and swayed in the breeze

The change in the wind took you down to your knees

I got the good side of you

Sent it out into the blue

The people danced to the sound of your heart

The world sang along to it falling apart

But I sympathize, and I recognize

And baby, I apologize

That I got the good side

The good side of things”

I would describe this song as the elegy for lost relationships for lost loves, it represents a struggle that young people often deal with. This song also actively recognizes the idea that the person who breaks up with another person, or the dumper, can also feel massive amounts of love even in the end of a relationship and dispels the myth that just because someone breaks up with you that means they didn’t love you or didn’t want it to work out. This album contains other slower and emotionally lower songs but the titular track is one that sounds hopeful and is simply blissful.

Bloom

This song is 2018 ’s official addition to the gay anthem catalog. This song is one that was sorely needed when it came to such a catalog and that it is one rare piece that shines the light on one’s vulnerability and willingness to be open in a homosexual relationship. “Bloom” is a beautiful, boisterous, bonanza. The song is very symbolic and light in its representation of the gay relationship experience.

“Take a trip into my garden

I’ve got so much to show ya

The fountains and the waters

Are begging just to know ya

And it’s true, baby

I’ve been saving this for you, baby….

I bloom just for you

(I bloom) just for you

(Yeah, I bloom) I bloom just for you

(I bloom) just for you

Come on, baby, play me like a love song

Every time it comes on

I get this sweet desire

(Yeah, I bloom) I bloom just for you”

The song is loving, kind, and open. It speaks to the personal experience of a person whose experience had been previously spoken of in a taboo nature — such as the effects of the AIDS  era. This type of experience has often been equated to the spreading or acquisition of HIV. It perpetuated stereotypes of young or old gay men, and this type of discrimination had stigmatized gender fluidity and effeminate men.

(Photo By Senior Socorro Vega, Denver 2018)

In conclusion, this album is an expression of Love and Hope. It touches on many themes and represents something much bigger than just a personal experience, while only being delivered through direct personal experience. That’s what makes this album so amazing and personal. It’s that Troye wasn’t out to represent everybody’s experience, but while doing so his individual experience is still reminiscing and represents a common experience that everyone in the gay community can relate to. While the album and many other works by Troye Sivan represent the idea that we are all individuals, we are also all equally connected through our similarities. That is a very beautiful thing.

(Photo By Senior Socorro Vega, Denver 2018)

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