The concept of the R&B band as we’ve always known it hasn’t exactly been a popular one in the mainstream for a number of years now, but that isn’t stopping the A.T.L.D.V. crew from following their intent to change this narrative with their profoundly slick beats. In A.T.L.D.V.’s new single, “Hotel,” they get back to the basics of smooth R&B with mild G-funk overtones, and while theirs isn’t the most complicated formula for making incredibly evocative music that you’re going to find this summer, I think it could be one of the sexiest just the same.

Official Website: https://atldv.godaddysites.com//

This hook features an extraordinarily old school structure, but none of the harmonies it supports actually sound all that retro – in fact, the opposite. There’s contemporary stylization to the melodic twist that these players are affording the main vocal part in “Hotel,” and when meshed with the traditional backdrop, we wind up getting something that feels like an homage just as much as it does a statement about how far the genre has come just in the past four decades. A.T.L.D.V. are celebrating history here, but staying away from the pitfalls associated with trying to replicate the rhythms of your idols.

The music video for “Hotel” is quite cinematic indeed, but I would stop well short of describing it as being anywhere near as bombastic as some of the mainstream R&B content I’ve been reviewing lately. Everything here is designed to expand upon the theme of the lyrics without adding any unnecessary filler into the pot, and when you think about how rare efficiency has become in virtually any aspect of American pop music lately, theirs is hardly an effort that can be accused of lacking in originality and, more importantly, a lean and mean construction as appealing to critics as it is to fans.

This mix emphasized the vocals a lot more than it does anything else here, and rightly so – personally, I don’t see any moment of “Hotel” feeling as surreal as it does without the foundational catharsis that the verses (and the means in which they’re delivered unto us) provide around every turn in the music. A.T.L.D.V. aren’t trying to change the system of how we listen to quality R&B in their latest studio cut; they’re just trying to get us back into the swaggering sounds of a style that never needed the millennial corporate facelift it got in the past few years.

Listeners who, like me, demand true, puritanical R&B above all other forms of the genre this time of year should consider the new single and music video from A.T.L.D.V. to be a must-listen. “Hotel” checks us in to a night of passion and pulsating grooves, the best of which come through in stealthy stereo sound ready to pounce on the most unsuspecting of fans, and even though it’s not the first track from this group that I would tell audiences to pay close attention to, it’s definitely the best content they’ve mustered in 2020 so far.

Nicole Killian

About The Author

Nicole Killian

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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