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Album Review: Hotel Surrender by Chet Faker

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Nick Murphy, or better known by his stage name, Chet Faker, is a singer and songwriter from Australia. He had a run of decent EP's, as well as a studio album in the early 2010s which caught the attention of some record labels. He also had a stint where he left the Chet Faker name and went by Nick Murphy. However, for this record, he decided to pick up the name Chet Faker again. Hotel Surrender marks the fourth studio project from Nick Murphy.

The first track from the album is Oh Me Oh My. This is also the longest track from the project, just under six minutes in length. It opens up with a faint electronic note in the background. Eventually the track builds with bouncy synth notes and Nick's voice comes in. We also have some string instruments that start to come in. After about two minutes of the track, he finally starts singing and we get a more normal instrumentation set up. Judging by the chorus, it seems like he's trying to take advantage of what he has now and says he'll sleep when he's dead. It's off to a slow start so I'm wondering what's to come next.
 
Low opens up with some reverbed voices, a string bass, as well as some other string instruments. Eventually it cuts out for some other instrumentation after the introduction and Nick comes in with the chorus of the track. His vocals seem a bit more playful and filled with emotion on this track. Judging by the lyrics, it's supposed to be a feel good track. Even though that you may be in a bad mood, or feeling low, you still have more left to live for.

Get High opens up with an energetic piano part. We eventually get some other small instruments added in there, like a drum beat and a bass. We also have some moments with odd electronic tid bits that are sprinkled in there. It definitely seems like he's having fun with this track, but it does get stale after a minute or two through the track, especially since there isn't much going on instrumentally. Also, with the title of the track, it should be self explanatory about what this one is about.

Whatever Tomorrow starts off with a slow introduction with some string instruments. After a few seconds, they cut out and Nick says, "Whatever". Then the strings have a bit more electronic sound with some different synth layers. It's such an easy track to just vibe to and has become an easy favorite of mine. According to the artist himself, this track talks about not having to wait another day and we deserve certain things now.

It's Not You is a bit different with the chorus of voices, which sounds a bit electronic. This almost reminds me of something Justin Vernon would do. Other than that, it cuts out after a few seconds, we get our usual instrumentation that has been present on some of the previous tracks. The title of the track seems so cliche, especially during a break up, however, in this case, it fits for him. He's just been acting cold and not himself to this person, so he's decided to break it off.

Peace of Mind sounds like it opens up with a mix of regular and electronic guitars or bass. It also sounds like it could be a synth as well, but I'm loving the blend of those instruments with the percussion sounds and Nick's vocals. I'm not normally a fan of slower and peaceful tracks, but this is definitely catching my attention. Just going off of some of the other tracks, it seems like he's reminiscing about the good times with his significant other, or ex.

Feel Good opens up louder than the previous track. We get some increasingly loud string sections that open up the track. After the introduction, we get a groovy bass beat accompany the track with Nick's vocals. We also get some vocal harmonies during the chorus of the track. Even with the title of the track, you could probably guess that it's a 'feel good' type of track. It's a fun track, but catches me off guard with the previous track.

I Must Be Stupid is definitely one of the more unique tracks on this project. It's also one of the longer tracks since it clocks in at over five minutes. The track opens up with an assortment of random notes, and then brings on an almost vaporwave-like drone sound. Eventually it starts to settle down and we get a slow track with Nick and a piano. It seems like Nick is trying to grieve or cope with what seems like a break up.

So Long So Lonely opens up with a synth line with Nick's vocals. We also get some other nice string instruments, and just like some of the other tracks, we have an easy going bass groove to keep the track moving. Compared to some of the previous tracks, I'm not really digging this track. While it does have an easy going feeling, it just seems like it takes too long to build up the momentum. I'm also just wanting more from the track by the end.

In Too Far was one of the other long tracks from the album since it clocks in at just over five minutes in length. Just like I said on a previous track, the vocal harmonies that open up the track sound similar to something Justin Vernon would do. It's a pretty simplistic track with minimal instrumentation. I would say this is probably one of the most stripped down tracks from the project. Other than that, lyrically, he talks about how they went too far in for their relationship.

Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Low, Whatever Tomorrow, Peace of Mind, Feel Good
 
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