Night Pleasure Hotel
Label: Art Of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group
Out: May 31st, 2024
Playing time: 01:00:31

Night Pleasure Hotel hail from Ferrara in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. They were founded ten years ago, but still under the name ‘Alex Mari & The Lover’. The aim was actually to write their own songs. But as is so often the case, live performances initially involved covering songs by big bands such as Queen, Toto, Police and AC/DC. The band also had to battle with line-up changes. This delayed the release of the debut album ‘Portraits’. The musicians orientate themselves on classic American AOR, which was influenced by bands such as Survivor, Foreigner, Prism and Toto.

‘Niko’ is a good introduction into an AOR album, melodic with convincing vocals and a chorus to sing along to. Only a little more power would be desirable. Even ‘Just This Once’ is well-made AOR. Riff-driven and, like its predecessor, in the mid-tempo range. ‘We Say Goodbye’ is then a ballad, initially with minimal piano accompaniment. The rest of the instrumental section kicks in around the middle. But again, not powerful enough for my taste. ‘Walking Through The Horizon’ is another quiet, contemplative song, but it doesn’t really take off. Instead, ‘You And I’ is a bit more powerful again. You can even hear a Hammond in places. ‘Sweet Melodies Of Rain’ sounds dreamy. Another ballad. ‘Shivers’ barely breaks out of the mould. Calm, contemplative, melodic. Even if it sounds a little more powerful later on. This doesn’t change much with ‘What I Feel’ and ‘Julia’ either. Another ballad follows with ‘Suddenly’. ‘For You’ sounds more like gospel than AOR in places. For my taste, it’s the poorest song on the album. The bonus track ‘Quella Sera’ is another ballad. In the musicians’ native language. The sound is also reminiscent of Italian pop music.

I can’t really make friends with ‘Portraits’. The individual songs are too soft and too predictable. Not powerful enough for AOR in my opinion. There are certainly good musicians at work here. But the result is unfortunately not convincing. The Italians really need to work on their songwriting and arrangements. A series of beautiful melodies is not enough.

Night Pleasure Hotel – “Portraits” Official Album Teaser:


Alex Mari – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
Sebastiano Barbirato – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
Gianluca Pisana – Drums, Piano, Backing Vocals

Track list:

  • Niko
  • Just This Once
  • We Say Goodbye
  • Walking Through The Horizon
  • You And I
  • Sweet Melodies Of Rain
  • Shivers
  • What I Feel
  • Julia
  • Suddenly
  • For You
  • Quella Sera (Bonus Track)
  • Overall Rating - 7/10


Disturbingly Good


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