Grace Potter (Hollywood)
3.5 stars out of 5
The ridiculously talented Grace Potter and her Nocturnals backing band exploded onto the scene in 2007 with the release of near-perfect breakthrough album “This Is Somewhere.” The Vermont native was compared favorably — and accurately — to the likes of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt with her bluesy rock vocals and she’s continued to up her profile over the ensuing years.
Potter & The Nocturnals stumbled a bit on 2010’s self-titled release but regained their mojo on 2012’s terrific “The Lion the Beast the Beat.” After some high-profile collaborations with Kenny Chesney, Potter is back with first solo album “Midnight.” This solid but unspectacular release seems targeted at a mainstream pop audience more than anything Potter has done with The Nocturnals. Not that that’s a bad thing,
“This album is about embracing life as it comes at you — with all its unexpected twists and turns,” Potter notes. “Our time on earth is far too short to be resistant to beautiful opportunities as they come our way, so when my inspiration took me somewhere new, I did what I always do: stripped buck-ass naked and ran straight into the fire.”
Potter has the strong voice and enough songwriting chops to make “Midnight” an enjoyable record — she shines on standout cuts “Alive Tonight,” “Delirious,” “Look What We’ve Become” and “Low” — but after this slight detour, I’m hoping that she and The Nocturnals will soon get back to doing what they do best. (Jeffrey Sisk)