Reviewed by: Geno Thackara
You probably haven’t heard of Kita Alexander if you’re not Australian – she’s only released a couple EPs and one Aria-charting single so far, which is probably understandable when there’s so much surfing to be done – but she sounds about due for some exposure in this hemisphere any time now. Her latest EP is another bite-sized offering that should deserve more attention and a spot on a TV soundtrack or two. These songs hit just the right emotional buttons for a montage of people in dimly lit rooms wrestling with relationship issues.
Hotel doesn’t quite hit the fifteen-minute mark, but it’s a sweet and lush fifteen minutes. There’s enough time to hit a couple familiar modes: lonely late-night ballad, light sexy dance groove and warm anthem with nice catchy hook. The middle one of those is the most generic, but should pleasantly fit at any trendy bar or fashion boutique without any trouble.
In short, Hotel is a capably ear-pleasing slice of slick pop. Alexander clearly has an expert producer or three on her side behind the scenes to ensure a sound ready for chart domination, spinning fresh beats with sampled hand claps, finger snaps and the like. It handily achieves that solid mainstream sound but sadly doesn’t differentiate these tunes from countless others you’d hear in public places. She also has a gorgeous smoky voice, which would really be more of an asset if the layering and Autotuning didn’t make her sound like any of a hundred other songstresses out there.
The little standout moments (primarily the effervescent closing bridge to “Hotel” itself) are pretty, but the arguable high point is the title track’s solo-with-guitar demo that closes things out. Ear-catching as the songs may be when dressed up, this plain treatment lets her words and voice resonate at their prettiest. The slick singles should give Kita Alexander’s profile another boost, sure, but let’s hope she keeps remembering how nice it is to step out unadorned as well.