Album Review: The Motion Epic – Saturday Night Motel Music
"Saturday Night Motel Music," the fifth opus released by The Motion Epic, emerged from an intense week of creativity in the heart of January 2023. Influenced by the sounds from the mid-80s to the early 90s, the album sounds familiar yet fresh and has a wealth of vivid melodies and inspiring sonic choices to offer over the course of ten tracks.

Room 108 is a short atmospheric piece that sets the record's nostalgic tone. It is followed by Come On Over, bringing together neon-glowing synths, distorted guitars and earnest vocals to create a perfect earworm. The song's melodies are instantly memorable, and the use of guitars gives them an ambitious pop touch that makes it easy to imagine them being sung by a stadium full of fans.

The Lost Boys of NY starts with cold synth tones, adorned by bright arpeggios that sound like glimmers of hope among this ice-cold synthscape. The mood continues for most of the song, until we hear the epic crescendo around the 3-minute mark. Synths dissolve like smoke machines, guitars explode like fireworks, and Pat DiMeo's voice floats above it all.

The bittersweet Back In Time weaves a different sonic picture from familiar elements. The gated toms, bright synth arps and warm pads are all there, but the mood of the song is hopeful with a hint of regret.

Let It Die with its full-sounding pads and sparse drum machine part brings to mind Peter Gabriel and especially his former bandmate Phil Collins, maybe due to the use of saxophone to channel longing and heartbreak.

Lonely Nights is another earworm. Its standout part is the joyful guitar in the chorus that sounds almost like a second singer improvising along with the main vocal.

Only Have Eyes 4 U plays with sonic space, adding and taking out instruments in the arrangement to highlight the mood shifts in the song's lyrics. There are so many sonic layers in the song, that we kept finding new details even after several listens.

I'll Be There with its jangly guitars and cinematic strings is a perfect expression of love and devotion. The songwriting and production, along with the emotional singing and Pat DiMeo's smoky vocal timbre, instantly reminded us of Bryan Adams's best ballads.

The pads on Picking Up the Pieces wrap around you like a warm blanket, and the synth touches, phased-out guitars, saxophone and hand claps create a romantic mood.

The album closes with Carry On that leaves the listeners with the emotions of comfort and hope. The song's slow tempo seems to say the road might be long, but the sweet guitar parts promise joy ahead.

And this feels like the perfect embodiment of the album's mood and message. It is interesting how Saturday Night Motel Music borrows from the past to show us that future can bright like its neon synths, vivid like its melodies and hopeful like the words sung by Pat DiMeo's warm and comforting voice.
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