Review: Troy Sivan – In a Dream

Troye Sivan recently released his first music in two years and In a Dream marks a new chapter in Sivan’s music career…

While the music is reminiscent of his previous albums Blue Neighbourhood and Bloom, laden with synths and pop-inspired vocals, the new EP feels more mature, and more intent on showing us that Sivan isn’t just the teenaged influencer he used to be.

In a Dream is a breakup album, that much is clear. The EP opens with Take Yourself Home, a moody and weary attempt at addressing the rift between him, living in the city and more importantly his partner. Easy, the second song of the EP, sees Sivan pleading with his other half to stay with him over 80s style pop after he seemingly ruined the relationship – “Don’t cry for me, cause everyone knows you reap what you sow, my darling.” When teasing the single on his Instagram, Sivan described it as “sadness, but make it a pop chorus”, and that’s exactly what both songs feel like. They’re heartbreak you can dance to. Hell, Take Yourself Home even ends with a synth-heavy, electronic dance break.

My personal highlight of the album comes in what almost feels like an interlude between the two acts of the album. The first being the aforementioned heartbreak pop, and the second being what feels like Sivan taking care of himself after a breakup. The interlude comes in the form of could cry just thinkin’ about you. The 53-second song is a complete change of pace for the album, which is masterfully produced with its electronic synths. It’s less than a minute of dreamy soft vocals set to what almost feels like indie pop.

Dreaminess doesn’t last long, however, as the second act of the album opens with the brazen STUD. The song feels like it should be playing at full volume in a club, with piano chords giving way to house beats as the song builds. STUD is where Sivan really makes it clear he isn’t the teenage singer he used to be. The song sees Sivan confidently and flirtatiously sing about his one-night stand. There’s no innuendo here, Sivan just wants the stud – “I want what I want, my love’.

Gone is the boy who needed his hand held depictured in his 2018 song Bloom. The second act follows a more contemplative route, with Rager teenager! reminiscing on Sivan’s wild teenage years. The finale and title track of the album In a Dream have Sivan contemplating the fact his relationship is over, while still having to deal with seeing his ex everywhere. The song feels like a painful acceptance, with Sivan declaring “there’s only so much I can give, I won’t let you in again.”

Overall, this album feels more personal. It feels less like chart-topping pop and more like Sivan writing about what he’s going through, and it works for him. As much as I loved his previous releases, In a Dream is bolder and Sivan feels more polished as an artist. In my opinion, the EP only skyrockets Sivan to the forefront of the queer pop scene.

Rating: 8/10

By Robbie Nichols

Feature Image Credit: Universal Music Australia

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