Review: Troye Sivan’s Something to Give Each Other
Something to Give Each Other
In the Perth-raised pop star’s first release of new music since his 2020, lockdown-produced EP In a Dream, and first studio album in five years, Troye Sivan explores love, intimacy, clubbing, and sex in Something to Give Each Other, his third and best album so far.
While Sivan had previously toyed with suggestive, sexual content in his second album, 2018’s Bloom (he’s since described the title track Bloom as being about bottoming after all), STGEO embraces it. The 28-year-old sounds the most comfortable he has ever been, and STGEO is perhaps one of the most overtly and proudly queer pop albums in a long time.
The former YouTube star has come a long way since his debut album Blue Neighbourhood in 2015. Gone are the days of songs about young, queer teen romance and finding your sexuality. STGEO is now about what comes next, and embracing the highs and lows of love, sex, and parties of your twenties.
For those that were paying attention, this won’t come as a big surprise. The provocative, poppers-inspired club anthem and lead single Rush, that preceded the album, was accompanied by an equally provocative music video full of half-naked dancing twinks. Likewise, the video for third single One of Your Girls, which coincided with the album’s release, features Sivan in drag giving a shirtless Ross Lynch a lap dance singing about hooking up with a supposedly ‘straight man.’
While Rush is musically and lyrically perhaps the most raucous song on the album, it in no way feels isolated from the rest of the record, which is full of different sounds. The slow ballad Still Got It, about the emotions after a breakup, feels like it could also fit on the Bloom track list. The poppy and appropriately titled Silly bursts with the feelings you get when you start seeing someone. In My Room, the Spanish-infused collab with Guitarricadelafuente, shows another side of Sivan altogether.
STGEO is a very sample-heavy record. Can’t Go Back, Baby samples Back, Baby by Jessica Pratt; Got Me Started samples Shooting Stars by Bag Raiders; and Silly samples Musica (E il resto scompare) by Elettra Lamborghini. This might attract criticism if Sivan didn’t use these samples so well. Taking the original sounds, Sivan shapes them to fit with his own sound, which becomes more realised with each new release.
Despite a relatively short run time, barely scratching 30 minutes over 10 songs (which is perhaps the record’s biggest flaw), Sivan touches on and explores different sounds that all somehow flow and connect. In a way good albums should, it leaves you wanting more and feeling sad when it’s finished.
Something to Give Each Other presents Troye Sivan’s best music to date. It’s safe to say he has shed his teen YouTube star persona and embraced the modern pop star that he has become, presenting all that he has to offer the music world in his proudly queer and eclectic songs.