Published Feb 17, 2020Perfectionism is the catchiest and most consistent body of work from Hotel Mira to date. Formerly known as JPNSGRLS, the Vancouver-based band have evolved their sound on this new release by adding more emphasis on poppy hooks and sing-along group chants. And, as always, frontman Charlie Kerr is at his most clever and charismatic, crooning lyrics that are both memorable and insightful.
For an album that has a lot of uptempo moments in optimistic-sounding major keys, it's not afraid to embrace important, darker topics.
With multiple powerful songs about mental illness and suicidal thoughts, Kerr's lyricism perfectly blends introspection on serious issues with catchy one-liners. On one of the album's lead singles, "This Could Be It For Me," the chorus is punctuated by a series of group-sung "la la la la la"s. On the surface it sounds like an upbeat banger. But when you dive into the lyrics you learn about the persistence of suicidal thoughts. "If it's not tonight, then it's still on my mind. How nice." Kerr has called the song "a battle cry for help," and that sentiment perfectly captures its sound and spirit.
By all technical merits, this entire album sounds great. It's the most refined and tight this group have ever sounded. The charm and earnestness of Kerr's lyrics are what elevate it beyond just sounding good sonically to being a career-defining step in Hotel Mira's artistic journey. (Light Organ)