[My Gang] Nicole Atkins - Hotel Plaster : Reco of the Week 29 Mar 11


29 Mar 2011, 16:55

Track: Hotel Plaster
Artist: Nicole Atkins
Album: Mondo Amore (Proper Records, 4 April 2011)
[ 3VOOR12 ]
Tags: , , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, live at Paste

Mondo Amore is an album that works as a whole. Picking out tracks to highlight is difficult, like pulling out a feeling. For the purposes of this series, I've chosen the third track, Hotel Plaster, but it hasn't been an easy task.

There's romance, high drama and torch songs, drawing together old blues, classic rock, pop and country whilst experimenting with where they can be pushed to.

Hotel Plaster is a song about missing someone. It seems to be over but she's not letting go just yet.

I know we've hurt each other pretty bad,
But this midnight horoscope
It tells me there's a little more hope

It begins in dreamy echoes and long notes, her incredible voice dominating. The female Roy Orbison can cry a song. She's alone, not even at home, and lets it all out. Twangy guitars slide her emotions and a heavenly choir hears her prayers.

Her pain is palpable and can be felt throughout the album, which came about after a period of immense loss. She had split from her label, Columbia Records, her long-term boyfriend, Paul Ritchie (The Parlor Mob), and her band, The Sea. She focused on her work to help cope, resulting in forming a new band, Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea, and creating Mondo Amore. Her inspirations are Scott Walker, Nick Cave, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti and classic blues and 60s psychedelic rock.

The album begins with Vultures [Stereogum free download] which opens quietly, giving way to her powerful vocals and blues rock. Cry Cry Cry is a sad song sung in a cheerful manner, typical of the 60s, "Our love's a dark disaster". This week's track is next and is followed by my next favourite, You Come To Me, with driving beats, lush orchestra and loud rock. My Baby Don't Lie sounds old fashioned with Nicole Atkins angry, not wanting to believe the news she's hearing about her boyfriend, "if the little girl don't shut her mouth she's gonna get a black eye". This Is For Love softens things back and is about disappointment but hope for the future. In You Were The Devil you can hear Badalamenti's influence in the music. Lyrics are surreal and dark. "I gave my breath so I could suffocate your fire / Still it’s the hate in your words I came to admire". War Is Hell slows the pace down further, setting up the penultimate track, Heavy Boots, another personal favourite, ending on a high with the brilliant The Tower.

The emotions in these songs range from despair to distress, longing to loneliness. Dark and melancholic, she dives deep into the black sea and has a good look around. In the final track, The Tower, she allows herself to completely crumble, because it's not until she does that that she can put herself together again. The album, then, is personal and intimate, a snapshot of a bad time and what it felt like.

Further reading:

Paste Magazine - review
Wikipedia - Mondo Amore
allmusic.com - Mondo Amore
Interview Magazine


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Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 1,016
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 2,793
Position in Last 7 Days: 6 / 125
Position in Last 6 Months: 16 / 266

Date Added: Jan 5, 2010
Views: 1,481, Ratings: 11, Comments: 6, Favorites: 17, Likes: 11, Dislikes: 0

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 1,085
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 2,999
Position in Last 7 Days: 5 / 125
Position in Last 6 Months: 14 / 800

Views: 1,601, Ratings: 11, Comments: 6, Favorites: 17, Likes: 11, Dislikes: 0

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  • rwitte

    Sorry for getting to this late. The performance video certainly is magnificent; I really enjoyed it.

    2 Abr 2011, 11:47
  • Babs_05

    Glad you liked it! Thanks, rwitte. :)

    2 Abr 2011, 15:25
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