The Motels - The Last Few Beautiful Days Album Review

Story posted April 3, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

The Motels are back with their 12th studio album, The Last Few Beautiful Days. Although the band has suffered from seemingly never-ending lineup changes, this 11-track album is a near perfectly executed project in the classic sound of the band and reasserts The Motels as one the biggest influences of pop-rock.

Best known for their hits, “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer,” The Motels achieved critical success with their third studio album, All Four One. Although they continued to create successful music past this album, American billboards tended not to notice their subsequent works resulting in a sudden fall in popularity. Plagued by constant line-up changes, the band’s lead singer, Martha Davis, dissolved the band to follow a promising solo career. The band remained inactive for several years, but regained traction in 2007 and has been creating music ever since. The Last Few Beautiful Days feels as if it was stripped right from when The Motels were at their peak in the 1980s but has somehow been rebranded to keep up with the current soundscape of modern music.

The Last Few Beautiful Days, while a somber album, has electric beats and grooves that excite and make you want to move. Coming off of the recent loss of her daughter, Davis decided to focus her sorrowful outlook into a more positive project. Utilizing her signature, velvety and sultry voice, Davis lays down a sensational groove backed by harmonious beats. All the tracks blend perfectly with a sort of hauntingly beautiful cohesion and allow Davis to really showcase the power behind her voice. Davis’s songwriting has also reached an even higher point, tackling issues such as loss and the feeling of being overlooked.

Songs such as “Look at Me” and “Tipping Point” really give Davis a chance to shine, showing off an elegant and electric sound that sticks in the listener’s mind. The album’s leading track “Punchline” has a sensational melody that captures the listener and keeps them trapped within Davis’s powerful vocals. The only track that has some challenges is “Machine,” which incorporates instrumental mechanical tones that are somewhat irritating and detract from the listening experience. This, however, is somewhat forgivable, since the song fits very well within the album’s themes of self-discovery and emotional disparity. While “Machine” does fail to support the album’s great execution, the other tracks are well choreographed, with each having its own particular sound that separates it from the other tracks. The album’s title and closing track “The Last Few Beautiful Days” speaks to how life is precious and demands to be not taken for granted. Lyrically, the song is incredibly revealing and the listener feels each emotion in Davis’s voice as she closes the album with a beautiful curtain call.

The Last Few Beautiful Days is definitely an album that fans will love. Unfortunately for other listeners, it offers nothing that is truly innovational. While this album, respectively, is one of the best pop-rock releases in recent years, a lot of the album’s synth work and 1980s aesthetic have been utilized many times before and do not offer as fresh of a take as other techniques could.

Still, The Motels and Davis have journeyed a long way with many drops and rises in their popularity, but this album asserts them once again as a powerful force in the pop rock genre. Through this album we see Davis at her finest, incorporating beautiful song writing and a voice that seems to have been untouched by time. This album is a very exciting addition to The Motel’s discography and proves that after so many obstacles they still haven’t lost their touch.

Rating: 7/10

 

 

Scott Perdue is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.