From the opening of An Introduction To The Album, I am hooked. The Hotelier’s album Home, Like Noplace Is There has been one that always seemed to capture my attention. I keep on returning to this album over and over again regardless of how I feel. It honestly has earned a spot on the list of records that speak to me.
One of the biggest things I love about this album is the fact that it doesn’t try to hide. It indeed has been a little bit since the emo/midwest emo movement was in its prime. However, this album seems to triumph without drawing too much from its ancestors in the genre. The album also is not afraid to explore the roots of what makes emo a fantastic style.
Now, wait a second. I know you’re about to go off on how this is not emo and how real emo is the hardcore emotional music scene from the 90s. I know that I am not the only one who would categorize this album as emo. The altering between beautiful singing and screaming out the lyrics is undoubtedly a hallmark of later emo. The brilliant guitar work draws inspiration from midwest emo.
A bright part of this album is the beautiful vocals that I previously referenced. Christian Holden’s lyrics not only pack a punch but his delivery is golden. I often find myself screaming alongside him in the car or on the way to class or at work. I am a sucker for a strong vocal performance.
I have wanted to review an emo album for a long time now. This album feels like the perfect one to do it on. While specific albums have been more pioneering or more pivotal for the genre, this album has always spoken to me. The record is a firecracker, to put it in brief. Time just seems to fly by as I listen. While the 36 minute run time indeed isn’t the longest, it feels like more of a 15-minute project. That is not to say that the project lacks substance. The album doesn’t take much time to let the listener sit back. It buckles you in and floods you with emotion during the whole album.
Some of the things that stand out most to me from this album are how fuzzy the drums and guitar sound in comparison to how crisp the vocals are presented. The mix serves to do the whole album justice. If ever asked to point out why I love this album, the production would undoubtedly be a strong point throughout the project. Holden’s vocals are perfectly blended in the album sometimes alongside the melodies and other times riding on top.
The themes discussed in this album also strike a soft spot for me. Without repeating too much, I see a soul that yearns. Friends and family are present that love and care about you. Each day tends to drag on a little longer than the rest. Each night’s sleep seems shorter than that of the previous. Sitting down and spending time with yourself looks like a major chore. Looking into the mirror gets progressively harder because there is an entity inside of yourself that wishes to reach out and touch others. There is an entity that wants to express yourself, but sometimes our corporeal forms are too unforgiving. It seems natural to turn to things to deal with it instead of turning to people. These people that you don’t turn to end up hurt in the process. Against your beliefs, these people would cry at your funeral. These people want to help you and love you. Twisted minds tell us that this is not the case and that it would be better off if we disappeared. That way you don’t have to pretend anymore.
I love this album so much, and I always try to show people songs. They are packed with raw emotion and energy that I haven’t seen in other projects of similar caliber. The themes and lessons to draw from the lyrics will make you sob and sing along. I think it is fair to say everyone has had a time where they feel unwanted or uneasy being themselves. The Hotelier captured lightning in a bottle. I know that if I don’t have a home, at least I will have them.