Album Review: Troye Sivan - Blue Neighbourhood

30 November 2015 | 4:36 pm | Chris Hayden

"Troye Sivan is nothing if not an overachiever."

More Troye Sivan More Troye Sivan

A genuine cult figure among a legion of teenage fans, one of Time Magazine's most influential teenagers of 2014, actor, vlogger and now overlord of a laptop pop revolution, Troye Sivan is nothing if not an overachiever.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa (responsible for the affected accent we hear on Sivan's increasingly viral YouTube rants, core sample: What Underwear Do You Wear?) this pixie-faced whippet has been steadily building anticipation for a debut album since bursting onto the scene as a 14-year-old playing mini-Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and his earlier performances as a child prodigy, winning our hearts with his rendition of Imagine.

So is Blue Neighbourhood actually any good? And considering the assembling masses, does it even matter? The palette is certainly nothing new — some gated snares here a-la T Swift (an unabashed Sivan fan), a breathy melody there like some nu-Bieber, some 'us against the world' sentiment WhatsApp'd care of Lorde and a touch of cred inspired by Chet Faker.

Unlike some of his contemporaries though, Sivan doesn't suffer from these comparisons; he thrives within them. Tracks like the already released opener Wild and the Broods-featuring Ease (one of several tunes to explore Sivan's homosexuality with elegant honesty) prove Sivan has an impressive eye for detail and a deft lyrical touch. Word is that Sivan is pulling five to six figures in YouTube ad revenue alone, but with a record as sharp as this he can probably afford to let us click straight through.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter