Midnight

Grace Potter

Hollywood Records, 2015

http://gracepotter.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/30/2017

I had never heard Grace Potter before putting this disc on—I might have been the only one—but I did know she had her roots in Americana-influenced indie-rock and had collaborated with The Flaming Lips, all of which are good things in my book. I envisioned Potter as a youthful Bonnie Raitt or a less feisty Patti Smith. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If you've heard Midnight already, you can imagine my surprise when hitting play here.

This second album without The Nocturnals name attached (although many of the band’s members play on this record, as do members of The Queens Of The Stone Age and The Flaming Lips), is a highly polished listen that's about as tailor made for the FM dial as anything could be today. The lead-off song, “Hot To The Touch,” is a prime example of this, with its ultra-pop template and rhyming, sexy lyrics.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. Potter has a fantastic voice and knows her way around a hooky melody. Songs like “What We've Become” are right in line with today's obsession with bright electro-pop, and “Alive Tonight” channels the equally popular modern disco. Elsewhere, such as “The Miner,” Potter takes on funk, and she even closes out the album with the piano ballad “Let You Go.”

Musically, the highlights here are the multi-faceted “Delirious,” where guitar solos and Potter's incredible pipes complement the sleekness, along with “Empty Heart,” with its acoustic guitars, is more in line with what I expected to hear on this album.

Whether you're a fan of the glossy pop appeal or prefer the Americana leanings of Potter's earlier work, no one can deny that she can sing as well as anyone out there. While some people wouldn't care what she's signing about, others will find the subject matter here trite and redundant, and the wordplay uninspired. If you're beginning to tire of Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga or just prefer something slightly more rugged, this different direction for Potter would be for you.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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