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Album review: Troye Sivan, ‘Blue Neighbourhood’

Troye Sivan is a 20-year-old musician and actor born in South Africa, raised in Australia, and primed for certain stardom. After testing the waters with a few EPs and growing his fan base as a popular YouTube personality, Sivan is ready to go widescreen with his new debut. "Blue Neighbourhood" is as contemporary as R&B-flavored electronic pop comes — darkly seductive and riddled with coming-of-age anxiety. (If you know Sivan from his online presence, you'll be disappointed to realize none of his sass and humor have translated to this album.) Like Lorde, he taps into millennial concerns about misspent youth and what the future holds, couching the songs in lustrous but minimalist textures. Some of Sivan's lyrics fall flat ("my youth is yours"?), but his best songs mine joy from everyday pleasures. "Wild," an early single, is a sweet valentine to feeling smitten, while "Suburbia" paints an idyllic picture of his hometown of Perth. "The sun sets longer/ Where I am from/ Where dreams go to die/ While having fun," Sivan sings, before concluding: "Loving's so good/ When love is young."


ESSENTIAL "Suburbia"