Sometimes all it takes is hearing a track that’s not even on the record to hook you. That’s what Goodness Pt 1 did for me. The promotional song that played on the trailer for Goodness was beautiful and haunting and when it had finished I hit play again and made sure I was getting a copy of Goodness.
Goodness is the best record I’ve heard in 2016 so far. The songs are catchy as hell and Christian Holden’s vocals emit passion and emotion that really makes the songs compelling. For anyone who thinks emo is still a dirty word, Goodness is the album that should shatter that stereotype. Great grooves, killer hooks, punk attitude, great lyrical imagery. Shall I go on?
Where Goodness Pt 1 was calming and moving, Goodness Pt 2 is raw and boisterous. The melody is the same for both songs, so Goodness Pt 2 instantly feels familiar, but where Holden’s vocals swooned over an acoustic guitar on Pt 1, they swell and yell over a blistering drum track for a good chunk of the song. When the song finally explodes open and we get the great guitar solo, I couldn’t help but smile. It’s a perfect rock song.
Piano Player starts as a jangly tune but slowly gives way to the effect as if we’re hearing the band playing in another room somewhere. It’s an interesting effect that allows us to hear an off-key piano riff come skipping briefly in and out over the track as if a ghost is playing in the background of this house where the band is. The effect only lasts for the first verse and we’re left with an absolutely beautiful track. It’s clear by the second track that The Hotelier isn’t interested in convention and giving listeners a simple verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge arrangement all the time. Two Deliverances seems to have a change in tone from the first two tracks on the records. It’s got a lot more attitude. It’s not mean, just has an attitude on the verse and the riff that gives that track this swagger. It’s like the spirit of Mick Jagger took over Holden for the verses.
Soft Animal is my favorite track on the record. It almost feels like a companion piece to Piano Player. What really gets me about this track are the vocals on the hook. The verbed out “choir” vocals that sing “Fawn doe, light snow” serve as a beautiful instrument that enhances Holden belting out the other chorus lines (which change with each pass of the chorus). I originally thought that vocal line was just a group singing O’s until I looked up the lyrics. The melody on the song is beautiful and the first time I heard the song I knew The Hotelier was going to be my new favorite band.
Goodness is a record with the potential to define the “emo revival” and be a generational album that people will reflect on for years to come. Yes, it’s that good! Like I said, Goodness is my favorite record of the year so far. 5 out of 5 Stars!