Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Ernie Halter

Congress Hotel

(Rock Ridge Music; US: 6 Feb 2007; UK: Available as import)

While he possesses enough chops to get these songs across, Ernie Halter has found a haven on MySpace with tour van cameras and live shows. And it’s these songs that revolve around said shows, bringing to mind popsters like Daniel Powter, Jack Johnson, and Jason Mraz with sugar-coated, radio-friendly tunes like the soul-tinted “One You Need”, the equally appealing “Into This Life” and the rockier “Love, Look At Me Now”. However it’s a rather slippery slope between that and a tune like “Melissa” that is soulful but still lackluster. It would fit much better later down the track listing. “Lisa” doesn’t fare all that much better, a very barren song that should have an obvious Latin touch, and does, but still doesn’t quite come together. Meanwhile, “Whisper” is a better effort, as Halter harkens back to an old-school era doo wop flavoring. Perhaps the highlight of Congress Hotel is the simple folksy “Love in L.A.”, which contains a great melody. The same can be said of “Something’s Come Over Me”, which is a track John Mayer would arm wrestle for.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


Tagged as: ernie halter
Related Articles
10 Nov 2008
The smooth soul operator's third album is another largely autobiographical collection of streamlined R&B.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.