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Floating along in its own beautiful, awestruck bubble, Beach House’s fourth opus sticks as rigidly to a single musical notion as any bubble can. And, in its own intransigent way, it works.

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Recorded over seven weeks in Texas, the Baltimore duo were so dedicated to Bloom’s concept they dropped songs which upset its singular, slightly awestruck aesthetic.

Even so, it’s surprisingly calm, and commendably focused, for an album conceived and written on the road over two years.

Like most of their previous albums, it’s easy to overlook Bloom’s depth and beauty on first listen. But as it buds and reveals itself, there are some sublime slo-psych moments, from guitar riffs that flex and fall like drizzle in The Hours to Lazuli’s layered vocals and eternally looping, hypnotic keyboard riff.

That its seductive and spectral aesthetic is so accomplished is arguably its greatest accomplishment and downfall. But get inside it and Bloom’s gentle, shimmering rises and falls are lovely.

3 stars

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