There’s a vibrancy to William Clark Green’s latest album Baker Hotel that was always present on his previous releases but it seems that the time during the forced hiatus — due to the pandemic — that WCG was inspired by roots rock of the 1970s and 1980s as much as he was ever influenced by country and the titans of Texas Music of the 80s/90s on previous albums. While influences are here, though, make no mistake: this is wholly a William Clark Green album.
Songs like “All Pot No Chicken” and “Dog Song” wear their influences mentioned above well while “Getting Drunk” is a fantastic acoustic storyteller song about a man who, well, has figured out how to drown his sorrows. Album opener “Feel Alive,” from a sonic level, is the perfect album (and concert) opener as it sets the vibe for the entirety of “Baker Hotel” but the lyrics of the track certainly are relatable to the creative frustration that musicians felt everywhere during the pandemic.
“Gun to Your Head” is a melodically pleasing mid-tempo number where the lyrics describe a relationship where commitment issues are prevalent while radio single “All You Got” has all of the atmospheric 80s feels in the melody which backs up a lyric about empty threats within a dying relationship. There’s an absolute artistry to “Baker Hotel,” the title track to this album. It’s a story song with a cavalcade of sounds backing up the story about a haunted hell of an old hotel “out in Mineral Wells.”
“Best Friends” tells the story of the kind of friendship we all need in our life, the one where you hear what you need to hear not what you WANT to hear from your buddies when you need advice. There’s a future hit waiting to happen in “Love To Hate,” the kind of song that chronicles a ‘perfect’ relationship that becomes ‘imperfect’ and the questions about how these kind of things happen in relationships that just burn too bright that they have to fade into the ether.
As stated in the intro, this roots rocking album is the perfect album for William Clark Green’s latest album, the first album of 2022 from a “Country” or “Texas Music” artist which leans into a vibe and is all the better for it. WCG has always been an artist who could break into a world wide conscious and Baker Hotel feels like the album that could very well do that for him and it may just be the best of his six album archive of fantastic recordings.