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Troye Sivan’s new album inspires listeners to ‘feel the rush’

'Something To Give Each Other' is fun dance album chock-full of sensuality, emotional intensity

<p>Troye Sivan’s recently released album, “Something To Give Each Other,” is chock-full of high-energy dance tracks and an overarching sensuality.</p><p>Courtesy of Ted Eytan via Wikimedia Commons</p>

Troye Sivan’s recently released album, “Something To Give Each Other,” is chock-full of high-energy dance tracks and an overarching sensuality.

Courtesy of Ted Eytan via Wikimedia Commons

On Oct. 13, Australian pop-star Troye Sivan’s long-awaited album “Something to Give Each Other” was released to clamoring fans. An energetic mix of songs inspired by sweaty nights spent on the dance floor, the album marks the culmination of Sivan’s work up until this point, perhaps worthy of being considered his magnum opus.

Sivan burst onto the music scene in 2015 with his critically acclaimed album “Blue Neighborhood,” a boyish and emotionally charged project that contemplates a forbidden relationship between two suburban gay teens. 2018’s “Bloom” features a more overtly sensual tone, introducing fans to Sivan’s then-newfound sexual maturity and cementing him as one of pop music’s enduring stars.

“Something to Give Each Other” marks yet another point of growth in Sivan’s discography. The album, which openly embraces sexuality as its focus, beautifully captures the ambience of late-night meet-ups, evenings spent dancing with friends and small moments of affection.

Labeled a “song of the summer,” the lead single “Rush” was the subject of much controversy. Beyond being an ode to poppers — a well-known gay party drug — the track’s music video included a noticeable lack of body diversity. While Sivan publicly apologized for his lack of diligence in casting diverse models in the video, these tricky circumstances set the eventual album on uneasy footing.

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“Rush,” despite its controversy, is a formidable dance anthem — an infectious rhythm combined with sensual lyrics establish the track as a necessary entry into Sivan’s musical canon. And who could more effectively introduce poppers into mainstream cultural discourse than Troye Sivan?

The album’s second lead single “Got Me Started”— released Sept. 20 — shares a similar, upbeat energy to “Rush.” The song, which samples Bag Raider's instantly recognizable 2009 track “Shooting Stars,” is characterized by an intensity that mimics the infectious energy of a bumping gay club. In classic Sivan fashion, the song combines this exuberance with a tinge of longing. It’s an enjoyable tune that bridges the brazen sexuality of “Rush” with the more contemplative, emotionally grounded spirit of the album’s later songs.

The track’s accompanying music video debuts bold visuals in subdued neons. The video’s highlight comes near its end, when a sparkling Sivan runs along a nighttime city street. The metallic tiles on his two-piece set reflect the energy and bold lighting that surround him, casting Sivan as a disco ball. It’s a stunning moment that captures the essence of “Something to Give Each Other” as an album — energetic and bright, the uninterrupted momentum of Sivan’s sprint gesturing towards an unrestricted personal freedom.

“Rush" and “Got Me Started” were strong choices for the album’s leading singles. Still, the rest of the project is riddled with equally iconic tracks that pack a similar punch. A standout is “Silly,” which is defined by its unique sound and flirty spirit, both of which are achieved through heavy autotune and breathy vocals. It’s a song to strut to, as are “What’s The Time Where You Are?” and “In My Room."

The album’s third track, “One of Your Girls,” features Sivan simultaneously at his most confident and most vulnerable. Sivan makes his drag debut in the music video, alongside an equally spectacular appearance by fellow actor and musician Ross Lynch. The song  —  while possessing a surface-level horniness that’s quickly become Sivan’s signature — explores the queer phenomenon of falling head-over-heels for someone who may or may not be gay. As he boldly asserts in the chorus, “Give me a call if you ever get desperate / I'll be like one of your girls.”

The chorus utilizes a vocal modifier that deepens Sivan’s voice, which reflects the all-too-familiar willingness to change yourself for the sake of appealing to your crush. Heavy synthesizers — a club music staple — are used in this way to align the song’s thoughtful lyrics and its sound. The music video’s final shot best encapsulates the feeling of the song; after a fierce performance, the camera lingers on a close-up of Sivan’s face, where his makeup can’t cover the agony in his eyes. 

Dance ballads “Still Got It,” “Can’t Go Back, Baby” and “Honey” veer closer to Sivan’s softer side. When considered alongside each other, the songs constitute an emotional reflection grounded in authenticity. While these tracks are all valuable additions to the album, they don't stand out in the same way that “Rush,” “Got Me Started” and “One Of Your Girls” do.

With that said, “How To Stay With You” is a brilliant, touching note to end the album on. It’s simply a sweet song with a bit of a retro sound, a heartfelt reflection on the beginnings of a relationship. The vocals are not as heavily edited as in previous songs, allowing a glimmer of Sivan’s true self to shine through. There are some funny lyrics in there, too: “I think my mom might like you, just not in the same way I do.”

Coming in at a limited thirty-three minutes, “Something To Give Each Other”’s length is one of its only drawbacks. It is, above all else, a fun listen. Equally perfect for high-energy evenings and low-intensity strolls around campus, the album is proof of Sivan’s impressive ability to craft infectious dance-pop hits that play on a constant loop in your head.

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