Artist: Hotel Lights
Album: Get Your Hand In My Hand
Label: Bar/None Records
Release Date: 03/04/2016
It boggles the mind at times when one considers how much memorable music is currently available for consumption, but that it somehow still flies too far below the radar to gain the appreciation it deserves. Hotel Lights, a side project and now continuing entity from Ben Folds Five drummer and songwriter Darren Jessee, is one such entity. Get Your Hand In My Hand, the fourth album in the band’s twelve year arc, is nothing less than an exceptional effort, full of lush and gorgeous melodies that seem to defy the belief that such wonderful music can continue to pass unnoticed. In fact, it’s a challenge to single out any specific song as a standout because the simple fact is, every one of these entries is so breathtakingly beautiful, it’s hard to not be enamored by each and every one. However, if one were pressed to name names (of tracks, that is), then “Everything Hurts You Now,” “Sky High,” “You Don’t Care,” “What a Love” and “We’re Really Gonna Do It” deserve mention for the elegiac tones and shimmering sensibilities Jessee puts forth therein. Still, it’s impossible to stop there; although Hotel Lights turn up the wattage slightly on the equally superb song “For All Time,” the keen sense of melody and meticulous attention to craft keeps it consistent with the rest of the set. As its title implies, Get Your Hand In My Hand is an intimate, thoughtful expressive effort that suggests that if Jessee were to take permanent leave of his day job, he’d still excel on his own.
– Lee Zimmerman