Published May 27, 2016Growing up is tough. The Hotelier, though, have navigated this treacherous path expertly. Their third album, Goodness, sees them continue on their quest, delivering their most mature, most complete record to date.
This maturity hasn't weakened the band's ability to deliver an emotional gut punch that leaves you shaken, changed and feeling the weight of Christian Holden's words in your heart — or your head. "Opening Mail for My Grandmother" is a perfect example of this: the choral group vocals scattered sparsely throughout is a poignant touch, and one that catches you off guard in the best way. "Settle the Scar," "Piano Player" and "Soft Animal" provide a faster tempo on Goodness, but it's the softer, more delicate moments in which the Hotelier really excel. The piano-driven "Fear Of Good" allows Holden to showcase his voice in a way not heard before from the band, while "Two Deliverances" is a slow, bouncing summer anthem that will make you want to throw on your trainers and go get lost in the countryside somewhere.
Goodness is less immediate than its predecessor, Home, Like Noplace Is There. Gone is the tension, the nervous energy and the burning pain, replaced instead with a warm glow — a fullness. Here, the Hotelier showcase their growth, emphasizing how they have changed and developed as humans and as musicians. They're learning to let go of the past and appreciate the present. Goodness is the next step on that journey — and a beautiful one, at that. (Tiny Engines)