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
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.
, 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.