BC Music Review Calls 'Panorama Motel' a, "Small gem of folk-pop!"
Andy Hackbarth, Panorama Motel
Andy Hackbarth’s seven-song Panorama Motel tells a folk-pop story of a happy relationship that goes bad. His vocal and melodic style brings to mind any number of progenitors, from Paul Simon to Elliott Smith, but soulful harmonies and rhythms help him carve out a sound of his own. Above all, it’s a beautiful-sounding album, for which partial credit must go to producer John McVey.
The tale opens with the shiny “Mountains” and the thoughtful love song “Isn’t That Enough,” and climaxes with the dramatic pop-rock of the title track. It ruminates with the acoustic ballad of regret “What I’m Doing Here” – which reminds me of late-period Johnny Cash – and closes with the quietly arty counterpoint vocals of “Oceans.”
What do you call a seven-song, 24-minute album these days – an EP? a mini-album? Back in the early days of the Beatles, 10 or 12 songs would fit into those 24 minutes on two sides of an LP you’d never complain wasn’t a complete album. So I’m calling this an album – one that says what it has to say and no more, then says goodbye. It’s a small gem of folk-pop.