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Under the weight of expectation, a sophomore slump can be a reality. Critics are quick to fault a follow-up album and anticipation is palpable – especially if your debut album peaked at number one on the ARIA charts. But RÜFÜS fans and electronic folk need not to worry, because Bloom is as stunning as the painterly cover art that envelopes it.
To the disinterested ear, the 11 track LP may amalgam into an overdrawn club anthem – but for those who yearn for tropical house and electronic euphoria, Bloom is an intoxicating melting pot of bubbly beats, floaty synths and sandy maracas, destined to spin repeatedly on Saturday nights.
Similarly to their debut album Atlas, Bloom is a smack-happy bundle of blissful beats underpinned by Tyrone’s hypnotically nonchalant vocals. Just over half the album is homage to contemporary disco, a by-product of their recent stay in Germany’s party capital, Berlin. And although there is nothing really innovative about these tracks, they absolutely nail their signature melodies and feel-good vibes. Washed with unrequited romanticism, these tracks will not only induce cathartic release, they’ll entice even the shyest of strangers to a sweaty lip-lock on the dance floor.
Brighter is first off the bat and opens with an alluring assortment of harmonies, clicks and warm keys before launching into a familiar summery tempo. Fit for an intergalactic discotheque, the song is sprayed with spacey samples and flooded with bouncy thumps.
Celebrated singles Like an Animal and You Were Right are both idyllic and infectious party starters, where as Say a Prayer for Me is a little more subdued and repetitious. Staying true to their sound, all three tracks showcase a polished layering of drums, synths and simple lyricism that’s really hard not to relish.
Be With You differs slightly, channelling Daft Punk’s climatic repetitiveness that stamped the ‘90s, while Daylight offers respite with a gentle, atmospheric melody and anticlimactic crescendo. Like Daylight, Hypnotised is retrained but a little lacklustre with whispery female vocals and zero catchy hooks.
But all is quickly forgiven with following tracks Tell Me and Until The Sun Needs To Rise. Both achieve a satisfying equilibrium of fresh and familiar, while Lose My Head is, as clichéd as it sounds, a heavenly Caribbean anthem that will leave you longing for a mojito and a stretch of sand.
The final track, and newly released single, Interloom rides a different wave than the others but is by far their most intelligent and gratifying piece of music to date. Just under ten minutes long, the melody journeys through euphoric peaks and broody troughs and features both experimental resonances and warped synths. Aptly positioned last on the record, Interloom has a Flight Facilities feel; steering away from their tried and tested pop formula and toward promising territory. If it’s a hint at the direction they’re heading – get excited for future RÜFÜS.