Saint Motel



by Jacob Clark USER (18 Reviews)
October 18th, 2016 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A nice shot of the arm of optimism.

A couple years ago, I got hit with this infectious bug from this song called "My Type." It had a ton of soul, swagger, and just made me want to dance. The band behind this infectious indie pop gem goes by the name of Saint Motel, and as I dove into their discography, I began to see that "My Type" wasn't just a one-trick pony: they had a ton more in their catalog to enjoy. Their debut full-length from 2012, Voyeur, had that same indie party pop vibe that I enjoyed so much from "My Type" while also showing a little bit of an expanded palette at times. It wasn't perfect, but it was incredibly enjoyable.

Fast forward to today. I've been waiting for a new release from Saint Motel ever since I finished listening to their back catalog, and this Friday saintmotelevision is getting released to the world. But does it live up to the hype, and will it please people like me who fell head over heels in love with their older work"

The answer to both of these questions is a yes, but it could be a more enthusiastic one. saintmotelevision is a solid indie party pop album, but it does have a somewhat homogenous feel and doesn't do enough to differentiate itself from Saint Motel's older work. Take a look at the album's opener, "Move": it has those same ripping horn lines as "My Type," and is even in the same exact key with a similar feel. It's a great track, to be sure, but it does lack a little bit of originality. The entirety of the album goes a more electronic direction than Voyeur did, which is something that I don't particularly mind either way. It's one of the few ways to differentiate between the two albums, and these elements lend a little bit of a tighter rhythmic feel to saintmotelevision. It's a bit of give and a bit of take because the album feels a hair less authentic and real as a result, but the swagger remains in huge doses, so I can dig it.

There are a couple of really unique tracks on saintmotelevision, however, and thankfully they all hit the mark perfectly and help distract from some of the homogeneity in the rest of the album. One of my favorite tracks is "For Elise," and it largely is because of the smart integration of Beethoven's "Fur Elise." It doesn't seem like it would fit into an indie pop song, but it works incredibly well because they don't force it in until about 2/3 of the way through the song. Another album highlight is "Born Again." There's a bit of a spiritual slant to the lyrics, but what stands out to me is the slightly gospel vibe in the composition. With small additions of a choir and organ, it does a lot to enhance the song's lyrics and also makes it stick out just a hair from the rest.

Overall, saintmotelevision is an incredibly fun listen with its anthemic indie party pop, but people who look into it too much might find less to like because the album lacks a little bit of substance. It's a record that's really good for certain moods, and I can already tell that I'll be giving it plenty of spins when I need a bit of an optimistic start to my day or if I'm incredibly happy about life. These kinds of records are some of my favorites because they are bright, fun, and incredibly addictive, even if they're not the most musically or lyrically spectacular. saintmotelevision is definitely a nice shot in the arm of optimism and pep in a world of increasingly serious indie music.

My rating: 3.5/5

Best tracks: "Move," "Born Again," "Sweet Talk," "For Elise"

Author's note: special thanks to Noisetrade and Saint Motel for releasing a free stream of saintmotelevision during the week before its release.

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user ratings (17)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 18th 2016


Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't know this leaked yet. "My Type" was my jam in 2014. Seriously addicting. I like "Move" as well, but it's the poor man's "My Type".

"Born Again" and "You Can Be You" didn't really grab my attention, but I'll definitely give this a listen.

October 21st 2016


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

^^this. Move is truly the poor man's My Type. You Can Be You grew on me a little bit but it seems like an odd choice for a single, since there aren't even many songs on it that sound like it. I just feel like maybe they went the safe option with this album, given that it's their major label debut. I don't know, maybe it'll grow on me.

October 23rd 2016


Album Rating: 2.5

"You Can Be You" wasn't really a full-fledged single; just something they released for anticipation (which I guess I don't understand either lol).

Album was alright. I knew what I was expecting going in. I can't say I'm disappointed, but it was pretty run of the mill for them. You can tell they're trying to piggyback off the success/sound of "My Type" with all the upbeats.

October 23rd 2016


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

That's so :/, honestly I would've preferred Voyeur Part 2 than this.

January 8th 2017


Album Rating: 3.0

Decent little album, not much staying power though. 'Destroyer' is a bad track IMO, but the rest all go down well.

January 8th 2017


Album Rating: 2.0

not good

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