The Hotelier
Goodness


5.0
classic

Review

by FreddieDelaney31 USER (16 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2016 | 1579 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I don't know what I want, what I want's where I've been.

In a recent interview/***ing thesis with Stereogum preceding the stream of their new album, Hotelier frontman Christian Holden concluded that, "This isn't Home #2, this is a transition. You have to find a way out. You can't live in anguish your whole life." For a vast majority for which Home, Like Noplace is There struck such a vital chord and became THAT album, the quote sounds almost dismissive. Here was a band that almost exclusively traded in diaristic misery and catharsis basically telling their fan base to ya know, maybe move on already. Upon listening to the stunningly expansive and profound Goodness, it thankfully becomes clear that this is far from the case.

From the lyrics to the songwriting to the production, things have opened up considerably on Goodness. There is more space, musically and intellectually if not emotionally. Part of the album's brilliance is that while it is chock-full of gorgeous lyrical statements, it is still unsure of itself; it is still needy, and worried, and continuously asking questions. Though Holden is more external and cosmic here, there are still moments of self-doubt, of intimate detail and longing. It's a natural progression from the viewpoint of Home: shifting the focal point outwards without losing that personal touch. The same could be said of the songwriting, as well. It seems that with the most recent releases of Foxing, Pianos Become The Teeth, and La Dispute, there has been a very conscious decision within this genre of music to slow and soften the harder edges and trade catharsis for restraint. For some, this has worked; listen to the heart-stopping 'Woman (In Mirror)' and how 'Repine' so gracefully shifts in dynamics per usual for PBTT but with much lower stakes. Unfortunately, this has also led to some seriously ponderous navel-gazing; the worst parts of Empire! Empire!'s baffling final release come to mind. Here, The Hotelier have found a seemingly perfect middle ground. Songs are beautiful and repetitive until they explode with catharsis; there is the tension AND the release.

The success found here in the musical approach obviously can't be that simple, but it can fundamentally be boiled down to that. When the near acapella opening of 'Goodness Pt. 2' slowly integrates each instrument into the mix to become a soaring indie-punk anthem by its conclusion, it's evident that The Hotelier have mastered their craft. For all that can be said about the lyricism and about what this album means for the genre, there is also simply a surplus of hair-raising moments. The incredible riffs of 'Settle The Scar'. Holden's bravura and naked vocal performance on 'Goodness Pt. 2'. The dizzingly euphoric chorus of 'Soft Animal', and the throat-shreddingly anthemic chorus of 'You In This Light', and the sudden grand finale explosion of 'End of Reel', etc. The band has expanded their songwriting to craft wholly interesting and put-together songs instead of what could in the past feel like huge moments of catharsis with a musical backbone, while still having those moments of outpouring passion. In short, they've gained everything without leaving a trace of themselves behind, and that is what should be celebrated here. As another band who released a masterpiece of composure and expansion summarized in their final moments, "Stay true." I can't think of a better mission statement than that for what The Hotelier have presented to us here.



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user ratings (600)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
ashcrash9 (3.5)
It's enough....

ahousedivided (2.5)
In an effort to write a moving album, The Hotelier forget to write songs that move....



Comments:Add a Comment 
FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

FRIST !!!

but in all honesty this is my favorite band, this is an important album, and I hope this review isn't gushing nonsense

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

SnakeDelilah
May 22nd 2016


19929 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so was piano player a dud or

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

PlasticRadioBand
May 22nd 2016


408 Comments


"but in all honesty this is my favorite band" serious question how old are you

Edit: you have Kanye's discog 5d and only heard one Bowie album so I assume not very old

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

considering you only have 155 comments on here, I'm going to assume that you're new to this and actually think that bringing up somebody's ratings is a good basis for any point at all ever



moving on

PlasticRadioBand
May 22nd 2016


408 Comments


"almost exclusively traded in diaristic misery and catharsis" traded it in for what? And the "ya know" is really uneeded because only you would know what you're talking about anyway

"There is more space, musically and intellectually if not emotionally." Frankly I dont know what the hell you're saying here, especially by "intellectually"

"For some, this has worked; listen to the heart-stopping Woman (In Mirror) and how Repine so gracefully shifts in dynamics per usual for PBTT but with much lower stakes." I'm not familiar with who is in the band and what their names are so it would be convenient for those of us like me if there was like quotation marks if one of those thibgs in that sentence was a song name. Also I dont really get the comparison of this emocore band with post rock/indie bands like Foxing and Empire!

Review is alright but you fanboy the hell out of it. I mean you do describe it but more orten than not I feel like you're not describing it for what it really is. There is a severe lack of objectivity in this review

PlasticRadioBand
May 22nd 2016


408 Comments


"considering you only have 155 comments on here, I'm going to assume that you're new to this and actually think that bringing up somebody's ratings is a good basis for any point at all ever" I've had anither account on this that had over 1,000 comments not to mention I've been on this site for about 4 years now. Also this is Sputnik/the internet, why did you have to take some ad hominem attack so personally?

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I appreciate that you took the time to read it and i appreciate your constructive criticism. I tried to be as objective as I could be but yeah you are probably right. As far as 'traded in for what', i meant that their trade as in craft. By saying there is more space intellectually, I mean that the themes of the album encompass a lot more than the comparatively narrow-minded previous album. Also, Empire! Empire! is very much considered an emo band, and I just consider Foxing to be very similar to these guys in some ways.

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I didn't take it quite so personally as much as I thought it was a pretentious comment that had nothing to do with the review or the question that you asked. I was pretentious as well with my response, so bygones and all that. I AM young and you have great ratings imo, so anyways.

parksungjoon
May 22nd 2016


5383 Comments


honest question why did you 1 all lights fucked if it's very obvious you've never heard it

torts
May 22nd 2016


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"you have Kanye's discog 5d and only heard one Bowie album so I assume not very old"



lol -torts

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

cuz everyone was doing it and it helped my objectivity lol

brainmelter
May 22nd 2016


4574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

-torts

Digging: Imprecation - Theurgia Goetia Summa

parksungjoon
May 22nd 2016


5383 Comments


totes

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 22nd 2016


19702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing album. will have to read this review when I have time. Two Deliverances is such a killer song I can't get the melody out of my head

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

good shit, Two Deliverances is one of my favorites on the album

parksungjoon
May 22nd 2016


5383 Comments


is this streaming anywhere

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

http://www.stereogum.com/featured/anarchy-in-worcester-mass/

parksungjoon
May 22nd 2016


5383 Comments


jesus what a journey for a shitty fucking bandcamp embed.

thanks m8

FreddieDelaney31
May 22nd 2016


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i do agree there lol

JS19
May 22nd 2016


5965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Plastic why are you such a nob grow up. Lovely review I'm excited

Digging: Devictus - Mercury Haze



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