Seven Layers of Dust
On fences and little helpers by Alexander Petrovic What struck me first about Hotel Nineteen was the great variety of sounds and arrangements. One minute you think you are listening to echoes of Sting, Level 42, Prince or the Beatles, a few beats later you will be surprised by a completely new world of sounds. Even the most discerning ear will discover new nuances when listening for the second or third time. Hotel Nineteen stands for their own style. With 'seven layers of dust' this group of excellent musicians has created something truely new and unique. The music is to a large extend original and cannot be typecast within the usual genre terminology. And that the songs are catchy and playlist compatible distinguishes this band even more. George's distinctive voice, the multifarious sounds, the surprising, harmonious turns and again and again the sometimes complex but always infectious grooves are the key features of this music. 'Baby I know' probably comes closest to the expectations of the average person who listens to the radio. It has an easy groove and definite hit potential. 'Summer of love' attracts though it's complexity, jazz rock at it's finest and a magnificent arrangement. 'Trust' and 'Family Man' bring back long lost feelings of the 60ies, but 'The Fence' and especially 'No Decision' have that heavy, driving sound that fills big dance halls. 'Follow you both' metamorphoses contrasts to a unity. The stanza in heavy 70ies style dissolves into a chorus of well being and laid-backness. The atmosphere created by the strings is amazing. When I listened to the album I asked myself what is it that connects the songs. What is the leitmotif? Now I know - it is the atmosphere, which is carried through the songs by the vocals. It's a pensive melancholy, always conscious of it's role but never lost in it since ultimately, the power of music is always apparent. Just when your thoughts and feelings settle down comfortably as they do with mainstream music, they are caught up and carried away on an instrumental high-altitude flight, only to discover new worlds and spaces to observe and enjoy. The choruses remain on ones mind a long time after listening to the album, the dream stays in your pocket. This won't be the last time I am a guest at this hotel, it will be on my list for a short trip or two in the future.