The Hotelier
Goodness


2.5
average

Review

by Grant S. USER (10 Reviews)
June 4th, 2016 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In an effort to write a moving album, The Hotelier forget to write songs that move.

When the snare drum endures it’s final blows in the closing of Goodness, I can’t help but feel that I have travelled nowhere throughout the album’s run time. Rather than exploring a timeline of tension and release, of anxiety and acceptance, The Hotelier lose the forward momentum that their sophomore record Home, Like NoPlace is There once had. Almost all of the songs on Goodness suffer from the same problem, a profound unwillingness to move beyond a single point, floundering under the weight of a single, unchanging emotion. Like a train stuck indefinitely at its station, the promise of a new and exciting destination quickly gives way to the frustration and disappointment that one may never truly arrive anywhere of import.

The Hotelier falls into an uncomfortable, repetitive songwriting rut throughout Goodness, choosing to lethargically repeat the same lyrical and musical themes for most of the album’s duration. Piano Player and Sun are both notable offenders in this regard, the former feeling woefully impassionate and uninspired, while the latter suffers from being about 3 minutes too long while simultaneously showcasing some of The Hotelier’s dullest lyrical passages and vocal melodies. Vocalist Christian Holden trades his likeable and charismatic performance on Home, Like NoPlace is There, for one that is much less dynamic and much less accessible, a feature that greatly impacts the flow of the album as a whole. Drummer Sam Frederick makes a valiant effort to keep the songs on Goodness from slouching too much, and he succeeds in creating something resembling energy on tracks like Soft Animal and Two Deliverances, even if it sounds as if his band mates are fighting him tooth and nail the entire time. The various interludes throughout the album are a welcome attempt at adding variety to Goodness, but they are too short and too unrealized to feel like anything but a very brief distraction from the rest of the songs on the record. End of Reel is likely the most successful execution on this new, more subdued version of The Hotelier, boasting some genuinely memorable lyrics and guitar work that feel unique for the band and their new musical direction.

With Goodness, The Hotelier slip into a disappointing rhythm that feels largely lifeless and slight. The band loses the energy and charisma they showcased so keenly on their previous records, and replaces it with a foggy, unexceptional collection of long, unmemorable songs. The brief, exciting sparks that do ignite into something notable are worth hearing, but the rest of the album drags them down in a considerable fashion. Goodness shows The Hotelier hit a dead end, a roadblock that they must maneuver in order to progress down any sort of emotional and musical road in the future.




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user ratings (721)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Slex CONTRIBUTOR (5)
I don't know what I want, what I want's where I've been....

Zack Lorenzen (3.5)
It's enough....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


10031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I obviously disagree but this is very well-written, pos

Digging: Stormlight - Natoma

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


25768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice counter-argument I guess. completely disagree though

Snake.
June 4th 2016


22327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rip 4.2 average

DoofusWainwright
June 4th 2016


19991 Comments


Don't you hate it when your best friend's parents show up naked on album sleeves

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


25768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^^^

theNateman
June 4th 2016


3806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Accurate rating and review. Pos.



God this album is such a snooze fest, I hated it

Gyromania
June 4th 2016


30318 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i think there might be a misconception among people here when it comes to what's 'well-written'. i don't consider a review with good grammar and punctuation automatically 'well-written'.



granted it's all subjective, i just don't think your points were well argued here. nearly every single one of your criticisms sound like you're just upset that this isn't home pt 2.



also: bolding looks terrible and should never be used

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


25768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ehh to be fair after one listen I felt the same way as him to a certain extent. the only thing I dislike about the review is his criticism of the lyrics....the lyrics on here are clearly some of the best out there

Gyromania
June 4th 2016


30318 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

yeah the lyrics are what make this great. they're certainly better than those on home, imo. the review kind of just glosses over all of its criticisms.



and yeah it really does come across like something he heard once and decided to review. very reactionary. he's a good writer though don't get me wrong

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


10031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i specifically disagree that the drummer stands out above the other band members and that Holden's performance isn't dynamic. His performance here is more varied than on either previous album, lyrically and vocally. Whether it's what he wants as a fan from Holden is something else entirely, as well as whether he thinks it is good or not, but regardless the fact remains that there is most definitely a lot of variation here in all aspects

DoctorDoom
June 4th 2016


2987 Comments


Love the previous album, struggling to get into this.

failingnovelist
June 4th 2016


65 Comments


I thought it was a pretty decent album myself.

ahousedivided
June 4th 2016


32 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Idk I've been chewing on this album for a while and it just never grabbed me. On paper I like the more subdued approach I just don't feel it's executed in a particularly engaging way. I wish I liked it more!

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


10031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I can understand, I was completely neutral about this album on the first few listens. It's too bad it hasn't grown on you. Regardless, you are a good writer, keep at it

ahousedivided
June 4th 2016


32 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thank you very much! I'll keep listening to it for sure, but I feel like I've been giving this record more chances then I'd be giving to most albums. My only fear is that this review comes off as contrarian, which was certainly not my intent.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2016


10031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Nah I disagree but I don't think it is contrarian personally

grandfather
June 5th 2016


162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Depressingly accurate. Some good tracks but that's it

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2016


11777 Comments


Nicely written. I may have to give this a listen,

PumpBoffBag
June 5th 2016


962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do love this album but still, superb write-up

letsgofishing
June 5th 2016


1449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I more or less agree with Gyromania here. For me, not many of these points bear resemblance to the actual album, and there are no supporting arguments to convince me otherwise.



For example, the segment below.



"Piano Player and Sun are both notable offenders in this regard, the former feeling woefully impassionate and uninspired, while the latter suffers from being about 3 minutes too long while simultaneously showcasing some of The Hotelier’s dullest lyrical passages and vocal melodies."



It's going to take someone very persuasive to convince me lyrical passages on both these are "dull" when they seem quite obviously well-thought out, some to the point of pure poetry.



"My eyes greet hers and hers do mine and then the room becomes her shrine. An older ma'am sets herself straight and then she smiles with eighty-eight remembered loves and morning suns until her woven was sung. Her fingers dropped like falling rain. The entire room awash with the sustain."

-From Piano Player



Both songs climax into quite prominent fits of passion as well, especially Sun, which is literally built around the climax.



I mean, yeah, nothing here resembles hardcore, and the topics aren't always self-harm, mental illness, or suicide, but I have a feeling the writer just didn't find what he was looking for, and it turned moments of what would be lyrical excellence and passion for any other band into periods of dull mediocrity.



And maybe not. Maybe the writer has great reasons behind how he feels, I just don't see them.



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