Review by Jordan Altergott
Spoken word poetry as music isn’t as popular as it really should be. Probably because of the simplicity instrumentally and vocally, but in all honesty there is no way you that can’t get lost in it. So the fact that Hotel Books’ double EP, I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel At Home might not be exposed to a larger audience because it doesn't fit into a popular genre is a shame.
Cam Smith’s vocals are filled with such authentic passion that he could make even the most calloused heart feel the deep emotion in the lyrics. Lyrically, this album is one of the most well written albums I have come across this year. Smith converts his deep thoughts of confusion and anxiety into the most eloquent lyrics in the song “281”. For example, “I never meant to be the problem, but I never thought I would be your purpose” and, “These night terrors can’t find me when I refuse to sleep,” turn late night thoughts into art.
While a few songs are more specific in directing the listener to Smith’s inspiration, metaphorically they can all be relatable to each listener because of the aspect of perception. The lyrics, vocals, guitar, bass, and drums do the heavy meaning of the tracks justice. From the flaws and pain that love causes in “Lose Yourself”, to how using love to feel voids within yourself is destructive in the song “Dreaming or Sinking”, Smith writes each song with a deep purpose. All eleven tracks are each so powerful, but the strategic placement of the tracks within the double EP help tells a larger story. I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel At Home is a piece of art, fantastically composed, and at the least worth a listen.
Listen to "Dreaming or Sinking"