Album Review: Vacations – ‘Forever In Bloom’

Posted: by The Editor

Vacations know what they’re doing. They curated virtually every facet of their frolicking, chipper music to stoke idyllic visions. For starters, they named themselves after a noun associated with joy and relaxation, and one tangential to the sort of beachside drives their work is well-suited for. They actually titled their previous release Vibes, which is so on the nose, it hurts. The title of their latest record is a little more intentional: Forever in Bloom, a lovely-sounding phrase with a twinge of mystique. Aptly, the cover features an array of flowers.

It’s jumpy in a way that bears similarity to Hunny. It’s brimming with brisk, crisp guitar work. If you were to let the album play as background music, it’d be easy to not be able to discern one song from another – not because they’re monotonous, but because they all blend into each other. Much of this can be credited to the nearly impeccable, glossy production that left them with a sound free of bumps and scrapes. In addition, some of this smoothness also derives from lead vocalist Campbell Burns’ hearty drawl. They hail from Australia, so that could very well be derived from a regional accent.

Lyrically, Forever in Bloom often revolves around romance and an overall sense of fulfillment. It’s palatable and adorable, which does make the songwriting feel shallow at certain points. At times, it relies on well-established tropes to demonstrate a point instead of developing more original ways to express those sentiments, such as in lyrics like “for a moment, there is nothing else except you” and “love is all we need.” Those both sound like they could’ve been written on Valentine’s Day greeting cards. But really, that’s relatively innocuous; sometimes, music exists just for fun and not to spark in-depth commentary nor critical thinking. You’ll do alright listening to this project as long as you don’t expect to be moved by it.

Although, one of the more memorable quips is found in “Actors:” “it’s so strange to be here / to be anything at all.” A line related to existentialism and metaphysics nestled in such a vibrant, rousing tune is really something. It’s the sort of string of words that means so much yet so little at the time. At its core, it’s simply stating that existing is weird. And perhaps, it is. People don’t choose to be born, nor do they ever receive a set of rules for how to navigate life. So, we’re bound to question the concept of life as a whole from time to time. The song closes out with Burns chanting the second half of that lyric, and it feels coupled with a shrug. Life is hard, but what can we do?

All in all, this album is a good choice if you’re searching for something uplifting. It effectively displays the sort of mindset we all long for from time to time – one that’s easy-going.

 Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great / Phenomenal

Bineet Kaur | @hellobineet

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