August 12, 2022 Hollywood Undead – Hotel Kalifornia (Album Review)
Over the past few years, Rap Rock stars Hollywood Undead have kept themselves extremely busy. Releasing two albums in 2020 alone, New Empire, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, in 2021, they pumped out additional non-album singles – “Runaway” and “Shadows.” Using each grain of sand in the hourglass to their advantage in this chaotic world, in 2022 they return with yet another new album, Hotel Kalifornia.
Released on Friday, August 12th via BMG, the new entry into their discography marks their eighth overall studio album and comes with new fourteen songs that are consistent with the band’s prior outputs. You see, this is a band that has always been known for their unique style which mixes different genres which has earned them an extensive fanbase. That in mind, they have continued to mature and grow as a band in spite of any criticism, thus winning over a good balance of Metal and Hip Hop fans alike. Also known for being honest with their lyrical approach, and sometimes a bit intense, Hotel Kalifornia fits the bill.
Going right for the throat from the onset, the lead single, “CHAOS” sets a ruckus tone. Not only is it loud and powerful, it also is right in your face, opening your eyes to the ‘chaos’ we have created ourselves. Continuing to wear their hearts on their sleeves, you also have the deep, introspective “World War Me,” before self-destructive, danceable “Ruin My Life.” Then “Hourglass” brings some melancholy emotions to match a Pop Punk fast and rhythmic arrangement, while “Go To War” offers tight Rap verses and a chant along chorus you cannot deny.
Changing their approach a little, “Alone At The Top ” is more of a Rock song with heavily distorted guitars and partially rapped verses. This is followed by the more Metal leaning “Wild In These Streets” which intertwines some old school Hip Hop before the forcefully aggressive “Dangerous,” and the extremely off-beat sounding “Lion Eyes.” The ladder of this bunch is a story you will want to hear through the end and it could be the most memorable of everything on Hotel Kalifornia.
At this point many albums would wrap up around ten songs in, but not Hollywood Undead. Instead they keep dishing out quality with the Hip Hop lead frustration releasing “Trap God” along with the delightfully upbeat, yet macabre “Happy When I Die.” And if you were looking for something not as filled with dark humor, “Reclaim” brings some sincere positivity matched with a strong rhythm that slides through to a strong chorus seamlessly. Which leads us to the final act of this dark carnival, first with the smooth single “City Of The Dead” and lastly the Pop Rock laden “Alright.”
Like them or not, J-Dog, Funny Man, Johnny 3 Tears, Charlie Scene, and Daniel (Hollywood Undead) have done yet another solid album! They are who they are and with Hotel Kalifornia they create one song after another filled with a lot of thoughts, opinions, and styles. Giving you a lot to explore, and well worth each additional listen through, Cryptic Rock gives Hotel Kalifornia 5 out of 5 stars.