Another music artist album post for the blog! This was supposed to have come in last year since it was released in early December 2015, but due to some unforeseen circumstances my order for it was delayed.
I had only discovered Troye Sivan’s music a few months ago when his song “WILD” was being played at my workplace. Even though he had been a prominent youtuber for a few years, I never really followed his channel or knew about its existence. Curiosity got the best of me since the song was pretty damn catchy and I decided to look up on his music. Listening to his “WILD” EP released mid last year, I was surprised to actually like every single song on it (most particularly “THE QUIET” and “DKLA”). So many catchy hooks, beats and choruses were on each song that I knew this guy’s music was something special and also being one of a few openly gay young male artist.
When his debut album, “Blue Neighbourhood”, was announced, I had already decided that I was going to buy it. A little browsing on music forums led me to discover a deluxe CD and vinyl fan pack bundle would be available for purchase on his Australian website (handled via GetMusic). Despite having only been listening to his music for a few months, I wanted to splurge on this album since the music was too damn good and went ahead and ordered the CD fan pack bundle! In addition to that, JB Hi-Fi was having a special pre-order offer of a signed cover by Troye for the standard edition of the album and I couldn’t resist that offer too. Went ahead and pre-ordered that as well!
What I didn’t anticipate was an unexpected situation regarding the delivery of the fan pack bundle being mishandled (and possibly stolen) by TNT Express.
*Long Rant Warning Ahead*
When I put in my pre-order for the CD fan pack way back in November last year, the only delivery option available from the website was via TNT Express with tracking information provided via email. I had never heard of or used this shipping company before and didn’t really think much of it when I placed the order. It was stated on the product listing for the fan pack that delivery from TNT Express would approximately take no longer than 4 business days once the product has been officially released.
Come the release date of the CD fan pack (December 4th, 2015), I received a confirmation email of my order from GetMusic but no email from TNT Express saying that it had been shipped. I thought it might’ve been delayed and waited a few more days for that shipping confirmation email with tracking information…come 2 weeks later, still no email from TNT Express or the CD fan pack arriving! I even checked my spam folder to make sure it didn’t get sent there accidentally but even that folder had nothing from the company!
Decided to send off an email to GetMusic’s customer service department wondering if my order was still delayed. Received a response one day later and to my surprise, the customer service representative told me according to their system (with the tracking number they received from TNT Express!), the product had been successfully delivered on the 8th of December with it being signed off by some person with a name I don’t even know! I was asked if I knew the person who signed for the item because it was a policy that only the person who’s name is on the order can sign for it. Replied back saying I definitely did not know the person who signed for it and came to the conclusion it’s most likely been stolen. Thankfully the customer rep was kind enough to organise a replacement to be sent to me, although it wouldn’t arrive until the next month given it was close to the Christmas holidays at that time.
I was all OK with a replacement being sent until I looked up reviews on the customer and delivery service from TNT Express in Australia…and boy did that company have an overwhelmingly LOT of negative reviews! From parcels being delivered to wrong addresses, parcels being stolen (most likely within the company or their courier drivers), major mishandling and confusing information being given to customer enquiries on their customer service hot lines (e.g. online tracking), lack of or refusal for re-deliveries if the recipient is not home (making them have to drive to their far away depots to get the parcels) and even collection cards not being sent! If I had to guess what happened to my original order of the parcel with TNT Express, then it’s either been stolen, delivered to a wrong address, or the company just couldn’t be bothered to even attempt to deliver it (or send a collection card!) and someone within the company just decided to sign off on it as successfully delivered (and it’s most likely just sitting somewhere in one of their depots!) A lot of the online reviews and discussion I’ve seen regarding this company say people with private residential addresses instead of business addresses will most likely run into problems with their parcels being delivered. Well my parcel certainly ran into problems with this company given it had a private residential address on it!
If I already ran into problems the first time using TNT Express, then most likely the same problem would’ve occurred for the replacement being sent! Sent another email to GetMusic requesting the delivery method to be changed to Australia Post, and thankfully the customer rep obliged. This time with the replacement sent by GetMusic, I actually received an email from Australia Post containing the shipping information and tracking number :D. I was kept up to date each time the parcel was scanned and updated on the Australia Post tracking system. Finally received late this afternoon after taking only about 6 days to arrive!
I guess what I learnt from this debacle is to avoid TNT Express like the plague the next time I make an order if I see that company as the only shipping option, and to look for an alternative. I’m just glad I didn’t have to deal with them personally on the phone after hearing all the terrible stories on their customer enquiry hot line (e.g. waiting many hours and being spoken rudely to). This was the first (and will be the last) time that I use TNT Express, Australia Post ftw! Yes, Australia Post also has its own problems but I know at least I’ll receive the parcel and get adequate communication if delivery with tracking method is chosen, or receive a collection card if I’m not home. They’ve had a good track record personally with me over the past decade, so I’ll definitely be sticking with them for delivery from now on.
*End Of Long Rant*
Now with that out of the way, time for pictures of the contents of this bundle! 😀
It contains the deluxe edition of the “Blue Neighbourhood”album.
A “Blue Neighbourhood” sweatshirt. I ordered the small size.
A “Blue Neighbourhood” notebook.
“Blue Neighbourhood” tote bag.
“Blue Neighbourhood” lenticular panel (30cm x 30cm)
All housed in a special “Blue Neighbourhood” box as seen in a few photos above. Here is a picture of the back of the box.
And as mentioned earlier, I also got in the standard edition of the album from JB Hi-Fi with a signed artwork cover from Troye. It also came with a bonus postcard.
So with pictures of all the contents from this CD fan pack bundle done, I gotta say the album definitely lived up to its potential for me! It has such a cohesive theme for the album (of carefree youth, young love, young adulthood and suburban life) that brings my memories back to artists like Janet Jackson that creates thematic albums! (of which I had also made a post about her latest LP, “Unbreakable”). As such, it’s also getting a lot of critic acclaim from respectable music publications such as The Rolling Stone USA! (who gave it four out five stars!). There’s so many great tracks on it, but if I had to select my favourites or ones that stand out, then it’d be “BLUE”, “LOST BOY”, “for him.” and “THE QUIET”. It will definitely be interesting to hear future albums from Troye just to see how he progresses with his music career after such a compelling debut. In any case, he’s definitely made me a fan!
Might look into getting the US exclusive TARGET edition of the album containing 2 bonus tracks, “SWIMMING POOLS” and the live version of “Happy Little Pill”, as I’ve heard both of them online and also really liked them. Most particularly that live version of “Happy Little Pill” because it has such a dreamy melancholic feel in contrast to the original version. Add on top of that, maybe also the deluxe limited edition blue vinyl of the album just to complete the “Blue Neighbourhood” set? XD Although that has pretty much sold out on both the official US and Australian Troye Sivan music stores, so may have to look on eBay for that or the Troye Sivan UK/EU store. (but unlikely any time soon)