Hotel Bleu is the latest full-length by Alternative pop-rockers Broadside, and they have finally found who they are. It took me a few listens to get through it, but not because of what you might think. It was because something would pop up every time I would sit down to listen. So one night, I woke up at 4:30, and after lying there for five minutes, I thought, “This would be a great time to listen to the new Broadside album.” What a great decision that was; after three listens, I was hooked and ready to try and get a little sleep.
Bleu is Broadside’s fourth full-length, and as one that has been around since that fantastic debut album, I can honestly say this might be their best. Through lineup changes and all, they have finally found their identity. This is the band Broadside was always meant to be.
“Stranger” is the opening track, and what a start. If this is your first time listening, this is a good introduction. As always, one of the first aspects that stands out is the melodies. That has always been a strong point with this band. I’m glad to hear that it is still present. This is just a great pop song through and through. “Dazed and Confused” is just a fun song. It’s about someone who enjoys life and lives by their own rules. We all know that person. And you are just kind of in awe of them. They make life enjoyable. That’s what this song is about. I love how it starts, “She likes her music real loud in the middle of the night. Wakes up the neighbors wasted on cheap ass wine.” Another standout track is “Cruel”. Again, we have just a perfect pop song. This is the point they have been working towards. We have heard bits and pieces on other albums, but this song shows the band they are. It helps that Brian Butcher of The Home Team does guest vocals. His and Broadside vocalist Ollie Baxxter mesh so well. Ollie’s voice has always been the secret weapon for Broadside, and we see why here. Speaking of guest vocals, Devin Papadol of Honey Revenge shows up on “Lucid” and slays. I had never listened to Honey Revenge before this, but I have now. This is the track where you can close your eyes and dance around your living room. “One Last Time” was released as a stand-alone single in July 2022. And I remember thinking if this is what their new music will sound like, DAAAAAAMN!!!! And here we are, over a year later. We have new music, and this song was indeed a good indication. Fans of their first album will love it. I like when bands have a song or two that shows they have not forgotten their past. I want a good closer, and this album has one. I typically like them to sound a certain way and convey a certain feeling; this one is neither of those, but it fits. It’s a warm feeling.
Broadside is one of those bands that does not give up. They get through it no matter what they have placed in front of them. They persevere. I do not think quit is in their vocabulary. Because of that mindset, they have finally made the album they were meant to.
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