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MUSIC REVIEW: BROADSIDE – Hotel Bleu

| 9 November 2023 | Reply

Label: Sharptone Records

Release Date: November 10, 2023

Rating: 89%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

One cannot live on hard rock and metal alone.  At least I can’t.  I dig a lot of different music mixed into my day and shuffle that constantly runs in the background of my daily life.  The latest from Broadside is one of those albums that offers up a poppier sound, even if the lyrical content isn’t sugar coated.   Disc opener “Stranger” is a cool track that kicks you into pop rock quickly without losing the rock edge of the song.  The swirl of vocals, guitars, and synths in the mix are a great balance that keeps you listening from start to finish.  “Dazed & Confused” keeps the rock edge in place, even bumping the quotient up a bit.  The vocals are perfectly delivered and balanced against the guitars in the mix.  This won’t get the head banging, but it will keep you engaged.  “Cruel” is the first of three tracks that feature a guest along for the ride, with The Home Team’s Brian Butcher joining the fun.  This is a bit poppier, especially when you listen to the lyrics, but there is nothing wrong with sonically twisting something heavier into a lighter message.  “How To Love, How To Lie” is alt pop rock goodness with a chugging rhythm that sits underneath the more strained and heavier vocal.  The layered chorus is the perfect counterpart to the lead without shifting the attention or overall sound of the track.  The light keys / synth in the background adds depth to the song.  “Feel Love” is a great song that has a danceable groove woven into it underneath the vocals and guitars.  The song’s overall vibe is fun, uplifting, and best described as a feel-good track.  The layered vocals are cool and add punch to the track while the synths and guitars dance sweetly in the mix.  This is a damn good song, plain and simple.  Disc closer “Bleu” takes us out on a different sound (but as strong as the opening track started us off) than any of the other songs on this disc, but it works.  The acoustic driven opening that allows us to dig into the vocal and guitar duet elevates the overall feel of the collection.  The musical component is beautiful, drawing you in and allowing you to absorb the words that will surely hit each of us differently and similarly at the same time.  The song grows at the bridge when the drums, bass, and layered vocals kick in.  Hands down my favorite track on the disc.

“Don’t Lose Faith” opens with an almost ethereal vibe that morphs into a pop-rock vibe that bridges the two textures perfectly.  The overall sound is a good mix of mostly pop and some rock.  The bottom end is cool and anchors the track when the synths and vocals sound as if they are ready to soar.  I dig the guitar work on the bridge and transitions.  “Bang” is another collaboration, this time with Magnolia Park’s Josh Roberts.  The chorus is one of the more contagious and anthemic on the disc getting you to sing along before you realize the lyrics are about losing the will to outrun the Reaper.  This heavier material is another great example of making the lyrics more accessible through musical delivery.  “Lucid” is one of the poppiest tracks on the disc, from the opening to the swirl of instrumentation thrown overtop the verse to the addition of Honey Revenge’s Devin Papadol on vocals.  This is one I typically spin a second time when listening through the disc — forgetting the lyrics just easing back and enjoying the sonic ride.  “One Last Time” is a bit of a charging tune that packs some urgency into the fabric of the track, thanks to a sped-up cadence and some heavier hitting drums and bottom end in the mix.  This alt track takes on an emo rock feel at times.  “What Have I Done” offers up some cool time changes and slightly different instrumentation at times while the chorus takes this back into familiar territory.  The overall vibe of this one seems a bit scattered, but that’s okay too… when isn’t life a little scattered and astray?  Overall, this disc is a great listen that is as good in the background at a party as it is in an office to keep the foot tapping and day humming along.

Tracklisting: Stranger – Dazed & Confused – Don’t Lose Faith – Cruel – Bang – How To Love, How To Lie – Lucid – Feel Love – One Last Time – What Have I Done – Bleu

Lineup: Oliver Baxxter (vocals) – Domenic Reid (guitar) – Patrick Diaz (bass)

BROADSIDE LINKS:

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HOTEL BLEU – ITUNES

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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