Hospitality started off the new year with its sophomore album, Trouble. The Brooklyn-bred trio does a good job producing 10 very different tracks, most of which can be loosely categorized into three themes.
The first theme relies on electric guitar and heavy vocals, which is the band’s weakest effort as far as musicality and overall likability. While they each have their own strengths, the vocals and guitar in “Nightingale,” “I Miss Your Bones” and “Rockets and Jets” are too harsh to be as enjoyable as some of the other songs.
The second category has songs with a synthesized, electronic sound. “Inauguration” is slower with an interesting outro, while “Last Words” is much faster, with nice background vocals and a contrast between the synthesized beat and piano.
The third is the band’s strongest point, the sound that relies on laid-back vocals, light guitar and even silence. “Call Me After” is the simplest and most charming track on the album. With sensitive lyrics, relaxed vocals and humming and a simple acoustic guitar, it makes a great closer.
The focus of the album is the sound and not the lyrics, and the reason for that is because they are barely decipherable. Another issue is that certain songs end up taking a different direction, and although that can be really beneficial, it doesn’t seem to work. For example, “Last Words” is over 6 minutes long because of a lengthy guitar solo toward the end, and the song would have been better off without it.
The album is a unique and solid second attempt and although it has its weaknesses, it’s a step in the right direction.
— Kristina Kokkonos
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