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    • David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy Gains New Vinyl Pressing January 19, 2018
      It's coming later this year...David Bowie's legendary Berlin trilogy is set to gain a new vinyl pressing. The iconic artist's stint in the German capital has become the stuff of mythology, re-carving pop culture to suit his own ends. Parlophone are set to issue the trilogy - 'Low', 'Heroes', and 'Lodger' - on Febr […]
    • Clash DJ Mix - Jacques January 19, 2018
      A guide to a complete one off talent...French composer Jacques is playing by his own rules. Ruthlessly adventurous pop music of an electronic bent, each track seems to usher in a complete re-wiring of the way we approach listening to music. Ending 2017 with his avant-bubblegum electro melter 'In The Radio', the composer set about recording a demons […]
    • Where To Start: The Cosmic Genius Of Sun Ra January 19, 2018
      There are other worlds they have not told you of...In the pantheon of musical trailblazers, Sun Ra is a shooting star; with his huge ‘band’, the multi, multi instrumental Arkestra in tow, he bursts miles ahead of anyone else in terms of chronology, mythology, and straight up otherworldliness. Born in 1914, it was as early as the opening years of the 50s that […]
    • Premiere: Desert Sound Colony - 'Tethered' January 19, 2018
      A return to his roots in club culture...Electronic composer Liam Wachs has been through many phases, many creative iterations. Using the name Desert Sound Colony as an umbrella term for these projects, he recently completed an international tour with a three-piece line up. Deciding to strip things back, Liam Wachs re-engaged with the elements of club culture […]
    • Ashley Henry's Jazz Interpretation Of This Nas Classic Is Astounding January 19, 2018
      The World Is Yours, indeed...These are heady times for UK jazz. The scene is gaining international recognition, while the sheer diversity of sounds on display seems to reconfigure identity on a daily basis. South London's Ashley Henry & the RE:ensemble have just signed a major label deal, inking a new partnership with Sony. New EP 'Easter' […]
    • Premiere: Whinnie Williams - 'What About Me' January 19, 2018
      An urgent, pointed return from the newcomer...Sometimes you just have to admit that you can't give any more. Life can occasionally get you down, seeming to demand a lot more that it's actually giving back. Whinnie Williams knows this feeling all too well. The singer found herself in the studio recently, and was unable to separate herself from conne […]
    • Barbagallo's 'L'échappée' Offers Wistful Psych-Pop Thrills January 19, 2018
      Tame Impala drummer and Francophone songwriter...Barbagallo has shared the new video for wistful, psych-pop nugget 'L'échappée'. The project is helmed by Julien Barbagallo, Tame Impala's drummer and also a fine songwriter in his own right. New album 'Danse Dans Les Ailleurs' arrives on March 2nd, and it's representative of […]
    • Weslee's 'Tongue Tied' Is A Trans-Atlantic Pop Sizzler January 19, 2018
      The duo will play London next month...Tran-Atlantic pop duo Weslee have shared new pop sizzler 'Tongue Tied'. The elusive pairing released three songs in 2017, with each one racing across the web to be devoured by thousands upon thousands of fans. Touching down in London next month for a rare live show, Weslee have now shared new song 'Tongue […]
    • Track Of The Day 19/1 - Vök January 19, 2018
      'Breaking Bones' (Rephlekt Remix)A rich seam of creative adventure runs through Iceland. It's a remarkable country, one where each passing person in the street has written an opera, performed a ballet, released a mixtape, or completed an exhibition. So when Icelandic group Vök decided to commission a few remixes they knew that they wouldn […]
    • Introducing... Thick Syrup January 19, 2018
      Leeds garage punk crew share new song 'Heavy Syrup'...Leeds outfit Thick Syrup want to make fun, chunky garage punk songs. Pitched somewhere between early 70s hard rock and the Nuggets compilation, the band's demented, organ-led sound has already caused a stir in their home city. Debut album 'Living In Leeds' arrives on February 23rd […]
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    • Sawdust City Music Festival July 27, 2017
      The inaugural Sawdust City Music Festival takes over Gravenhurst, Ontario this August long weekend. Running from August 4th – 6th the festival features performances from a plethora of talented artists from the area and all over Canada. Whether you want to check out the Muskoka music scene or experience the Jim Cuddy Family Band perform [...] Sawdust City Mus […]
    • Interview: Danko Jones July 21, 2017
      We sat down with John Calabrese, bassist of Danko Jones to talk about the band's impressive 20+ year career, most memorable moments and their newest album Wild Cat.  Interview: Danko Jones by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Interview: Kid Koala July 20, 2017
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    • The Lemon Bucket Orkestra July 19, 2017
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    • Interview: Mix Master Mike July 17, 2017
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    • Interview: The Dirty Nil July 14, 2017
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    • Interview: A Tribe Called Red July 13, 2017
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    • FEQ in 2 Days! July 4, 2017
      Celebrating their 50th year this summer,  Festival d'été de Québec is throwing an epic bash from July 6th to July 16th. FEQ in 2 Days! by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Album Review: Prairie Cat’s Is Cary Pratt June 30, 2017
      The unconventional songwriter has been making waves with the release of his fourth album. Album Review: Prairie Cat’s Is Cary Pratt by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • REVIEW: !!! (ChkChkChk) June 17, 2017
      Wednesday, June 14th at the Horseshoe Tavern: dance-punk at its finest REVIEW: !!! (ChkChkChk) by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.

The Best Albums of 2015: Grace Potter – Midnight

Posted by falconi5 on August 15, 2015

Grace Potter – Midnight (Rating 3 out of 5)

grace2We should have seen this coming, all of the signs were there. Not unlike most volatile relationships, there were signs.  All of our friends could see it, they tried to tell us, but, like many who find themselves in a good lovin’ gone bad situation like this one, warning signs were ignored.

It was a good run. The first self titled album with her band The Nocturnals, was great, and the video for “Paris (Ooh La La)” cemented Grace Potter’s place in “The Rock Chick Hall of Fame.” The bands cover of The Airplane’s “White Rabbit” was stunning, and videos of Potter slinking around the stage with a Flying V between her legs, playing beside some of the coolest musical acts in the world along with her cracker jack band that included the equally if not more hotgrace3 Catherine Popper on bass, and guitar whiz Benny Yurco carrying most of the six string load in fine fashion, were all pretty terrific.  The photo of Grace baring all, wrapped in the American flag, and the video with her all decked out in her finest and tightest pair of Daisy Dukes giving lessons on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich only served to cement her bad-ass reputation and earned her entry into the Falcon’s Nest Rock Chick Hall of Fame.

Until it was over. The slow descent into mediocrity began with Catherine Popper’s exit from the band. Whether it was cat-fight jealousy, creative differences, or the fact that Cat simply wanted to find her own place in the sun, you never know, but like Laverne needed Shirley, and Thelma wasn’t sexy without Louise, Grace Potter needed Catherine Popper. Together they were the sexiest rock duo this side of back in the day Heart or Fleetwood Mac’s McVie and Nicks. But alas, it was not meant to be. The first post Popper album with the remaining Nocturnals The Lion The Beast The Beat was several beats below average, and was a sure sign that no shades were going to be needed for the not so bright future of this band.  The Kenny Chesney lame-fest collaboration on “You and Tequila”  was only the banana peel on the walk of shame that included changing her hair style to become more “hip” looking to appeal to the younger set, and the firing of her entire band.

And then came Midnight, the first album with Grace Potter as a solo artist, and the transformation was complete. With a Rod Stewart worthy sell-out effort that should appeal to no one, she may have lost her Rock loving Fans while at the same time failing to appeal to the very market that she trying to reach with her new image and sound.

grace4The template here is some sort of other worldly love child of Cher and Lady Gaga meets Taylor Swift by way of a Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears daisy chain. The opener “Hot Touch” is something your teenage daughters would be bopping to in the back seat while you are driving them to school in your mini van, and is followed by “Alive Tonight” some sort of Anthem that sounds like it would be a pretty good crowd-pleaser, but is a bit too synthesizer heavy for its own good, and sounds like it could have been on the latest Miley Cyrus record.

It is not until 4 songs in with “Empty Heart” that there is any sign that this record can be saved, an acoustic guitar based song with a good strong vocal that goes along at a nice tempo until some sort “Up With People”  too over the top gospel chorus kicks in that is pretty much unnecessary, and takes the tune from pretty good back down to listenable in a pretty big hurry.  “The Miner” is a wee little ballad that is nice tempo changer, but still tries to outsmart itself a bit with a contemporary feel, and “Delirious” is a disco song.  Yes, no need to adjust your ears. It is a disco song. “Let you Go” is a fine slower tempo love song that deserves better friends.

The song “Look What We’ve Become” is another tune that seems to be tailor-made for the live show, and would have been a very appropriate album title actually, and “Nobody’s Born with a Broken Heart” is the best song on the album, but suffers like a lot of the songs here from too pumped up production going on behind the scenes. With the levers dialed down a bit, the strong vocals and dynamic personality would have had a better platform.

This is one of those records that you will pretty much hate after the first listen, need to check it out more after the second, and then will leave you pretty much unsatisfied with further trips to the well.  The biggest fail with Midnight is that it tries to be all things to all people, and as a result seems to leave a lot on the cutting room floor.  Somewhere, behind the image makers, and underneath the glossy pimped out sheen that crops up in way too many places that we are presented with here, there is a seriously talented artist that deserves better than the less than stellar reception that Grace Potter is likely to receive with her first effort out on her own.

— Bernie Sparrow —





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