Troye Sivan’s ‘Something To Give Each Other’ is a resurgence of queer pop

Oct. 25, 2023, 10:30 p.m.

After a five-year hiatus, Troye Sivan returns to the limelight with his third studio album “Something To Give Each Other,” released on Oct. 13.

Troye Sivan’s storytelling — how he unfurls the complex emotions surrounding intimacy — kept me mesmerized. Although “Something To Give Each Other” is not a perfect record, Sivan made musical progress instead of remaining stagnant and making repetitive popular music.

Similar to Sivan’s debut album, “Blue Neighborhood,” “Something To Give Each Other” includes his signature pop ballads and emotive lyrical content. But what distinguishes the new release is Sivan’s sincere celebration of his identity. 

It has been so exciting to witness the queer, male pop star express himself publicly via songs and symbols. The shocking album cover sees Sivan laughing with his head between the legs of another man. The singer also dressed up in drag in the music video for “One of Your Girls,” the album’s third track.

“Rush,” the album’s lead single and opening track, features a driving beat pulsating behind Sivan’s breathy vocals. The song’s music video is a raunchy and triumphant celebration of queerness: Men and women dance provocatively in the summer heat, openly displaying their sexuality. With sweaty choreography perhaps alluding to Britney Spears’s “I’m a Slave 4 U,” Sivan brings the song’s message to life. 

“‘Rush’ is the feeling of kissing a sweaty stranger on a dance floor, a two-hour date that turned into a weekend, a crush, a winter, a summer,” Sivan said in a statement.

The melancholy track “Still Got It” provides a stark contrast to the passion in “Rush,” as Sivan reminisces on a past relationship and his lingering feelings for an ex. 

Layered over the haunting organ melody, the despair found in his voice throughout the verses is one of the most poignant I have heard: “We lost what we had / And now I want it / Now I want it back / ‘Cause you still got it.” As the organ progresses, a clock ticks in the background, symbolizing the passage of time and the slow mending of a broken heart.

Other tracks, such as “Honey” and “What’s The Time Where You Are?,” are fun and percussive. The repetitiveness creates an ambiance of a light-hearted night out with friends. These solidify the record’s theme of coping with love and loss through mundane activities.

However, “Something To Give Each Other” did not come without disappointments. The eighth track, “Silly,” was the weakest production on the record. Sivan’s falsetto is not strong enough, a fact that not even the intentional distortion effects could cover up. 

Nevertheless, I applaud his experimentation with new vocal techniques, and the song’s message justifies its place in the record. “Silly” tells the relatable story that, even after trying to move on from a past relationship, the smallest thing one’s ex does can bring back memories and feelings once held dear.

Overall, each song of “Something To Give Each Other” has its own identity. Each distinguishes itself from the musician’s past body of works. This album, showcasing Sivan’s musical flexibility and genuine self-expression, is the next step on his ascending journey in garnering international acclaim. “Bloom,” the singer’s sophomore release, is already one of my favorites. To have him hit the mark once again on his third album is incredible. 

Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective thoughts, opinions and critiques.

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