Beach House - Once Twice Melody
70
This record is challenging to review, but easy to enjoy. The magic of this record, as is often the case with Beach House, is within the experience itself more than any particular songwriting technique a listener can pinpoint. It’s a vibe! The tender vocals, synths, and production sway you back and forth in a pink and pretty vibe. This here is an 80-minute vibe, and that’s a good vibe, which makes for a good record. It’s the Beach House vibe.

The Beach House vibe, as crystalized so nicely on this latest record, contains all the magic we love so much about the duo. What a perfect record to smoke a bowl to, while cuddling with your lover, maybe relaxing in bed and zoning out for a second. It’s the dream pop dream, and Once Twice Melody is the prettiest embodiment of that dream that any artist could possibly deliver. You can close your eyes and focus intensely on the music– do you hear how many synths and vocals are layered on top of each other right now? Do you hear how each ingredient has its own little dance, glued nicely to the conversely mechanical drum machines? Just as interesting as it is to zoom in, this record allows you to zoom out and let yourself enjoy it as moody background music.

And it’s 80 minutes of that. It’s a lovely 80 minutes. But I can’t say I’m particularly wowed by one song or another. Many artists, including Beach House for that matter, have already provided plenty of material that accomplishes the vibe this record delivers. This record has a lot of variety, but it also has a lot of stuff that sounds about the same. Which is fine, but at least with previous Beach House material, we had those magical moments of Zebra, Myth, and Space Song to draw us back in. I can’t say this record has any special qualities that’ll convince me to carve out another 80 minutes for this, especially when so many other Dream Pop masterpieces are sitting right there.

Sadly, this is an oversaturated album within an already oversaturated market. That doesn’t take away from the stunning production of Once Twice Melody, it just makes it hard for me to get really excited about this one. The ebb and flow of Beach House zen is lovely as always, but I’d like a little more. I don’t want to give a middling review to a record with as much talent and thought put into this one, but if I’m being entirely honest, I likely will never return to this. That is until I get a girlfriend maybe.

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