Beach House released its new album, Once Twice Melody, in four chapters over several months. The band didn’t explain why it chose this unique release schedule, and the release doesn’t seem to influence the emotional impact of the songs or say anything about the album’s structure.
But the strange release schedule ended up being the most interesting thing about this album.
Once Twice Melody retains the ethereal synth pop sound for which Beach House is known. The soaring synths connect with delicate guitar to produce a floaty experience that is pleasant to have playing in the background. But Beach House did not depart much from its established sound. The indie pop-duo has never been known for messing with its formula for success. Lulling, softly sung lyrics layered over trailing instrumentals are the foundation of the band’s sound.
Lyrically, Once Twice Melody is unimpressive. Beach House doesn’t use its lyrics to create compelling or emotional storylines for its listeners.
The track “Another Go Around” becomes repetitive as lead singer Victoria Legrand sings “another go around” over and over again. The rest of the album’s lyrics are only generic whispers of lost loves.
Without distinct choruses and bridges, the songs feel one-note. The gorgeous melodies and synths become inconsequential, as all parts of the song blend together, making the music feel flat. Beach House keeps the listener waiting for a high point in each song and ultimately leaves them disappointed with an unmemorable album.
There are subtle changes to the Beach House formula here and there, but Once Twice Melody still feels like more of the same for the band. Beach House is capable of creating beautiful music with its instrumental work, but its lyrics on Once Twice Melody betray the artists, making the tracks feel lifeless.
Once Twice Melody is an attempt at making sad music without adding a touch of genuine emotion.
Although the instrumentation on this album is beautiful, each song washes over the listener like a soft breeze. The end of Once Twice Melody comes and it doesn’t feel like anything has changed. Ninety minutes have passed without a high point or a track to come back to. It feels like more thought went into the release schedule than the creation of the actual music on the album.
Featured Image Courtesy of Sub Pop Records