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Once Twice Melody

by Beach House

Released February 18, 2022 via Sub Pop

Reviewed March 1, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Superstar (50%), Masquerade (32%), New Romance (32%)

The latest Beach House album was released in stretches—from November 2021 until its release day in February 2022—for what ultimately amounted to a four-sided opus of dream pop by the genre’s longtime kingpins. Once Twice Melody’s nearly 90 minutes runtime is not unwarranted, given the duo’s consistent legacy over time, and level of focus specifically within their eighth album. Yet the result of such ambition will certainly test the attention span of most listeners. This comes across as largely being a well-calculated risk, one best taken by a group whose reputation runs as deeply as Beach House’s does. The album runs at an engaging and varied pace, often capturing the sonic euphoria they’ve become synonymous within each of the album’s four legs. While the talented duo mitigates the risk of overstaying their welcome fairly well, Once Twice Melody is not immune to the shortcomings of an album running well over an hour. The beginning half is excitingly consistent, with just a bit of faltered momentum down the stretch of the second half. One can only imagine the nonstop momentum this album would have if diluted to even just 16 of the most outstanding tracks. – DeVán (8/10)

Beach House, the band most synonymous with and frontrunners of the contemporary dream pop scene, have delivered their discography’s latest installment titled Once Twice Melody. It is an 80-minute extravaganza full of their signature style: hazy atmospheres, blissful melodies and song structures that give more bang for their buck than first thought. Split into four separate chapters—Pink Funeral, New Romance, Masquerade and Modern Love Stories—Once Twice Melody unfolds like a four-part TV series with each episode being released months apart. Joining up to form daydream Voltron, Once Twice Melody is an astounding feat. But, the main issue with an album of this length is its risk of losing momentum, the listener’s attention, and consistency. Beach House manages to steer clear of the risky rocks and remains on soothing waters for the duration of the album. – Peter (8/10)

The duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been the premiere darlings of dream pop since their self-titled debut in 2006, and their 15+ years of experience shine through once again on their first release in nearly four years. With Once Twice Melody, Beach House divided up the album and its release into four separate chapters: Pink Funeral (1-4), New Romance (5-8), Masquerade (9-13), and Modern Love Stories (14-18). Aside from this, Once Twice Melody doesn’t drastically divert from Beach House’s prototypical formula. Rather, the duo sticks with what works, and continues to work without fail. The 80+ minute runtime makes the record drag just a tad—and a few of the tracks likely could have been shortened—but there is plenty to get lost in amidst Once Twice Melody’s tracklist. It’s the Beach House we all know and love, with a sense of comfort amidst an ethereal mixture of melancholy-infused bliss. A must-listen for dream pop fans, but one that many might understandably sift through, due to a somewhat bloated tracklist. – Dominick (7.8/10)

Cam: 8.5/10 | Jared: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Hadley: 8/10

Dominick: 7.8/10 | Pax: 7.7/10 | Daniel: 7.2/10 | Ben (Synth): 7/10


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