48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals have crafted a truly thrilling album. The tracks that rock--"Paris (Ooh La La)," "Medicine," "Only Love," and "Hot Summer Night"--do it like an earthquake. Potter may be working a sparkly skirt but her musical heft is all muscle shirt, jeans and big nasty boots. Thus, proving that what you wear ain't the point. This is music that is genuine, tight and has just enough grit to make cries of "slick" confounding. The band maintains equal fire power on quieter numbers like "Colors" and the stunning "Things I Never Needed." Perhaps my favorite track is "One Short Night" which combines a sexy mixture of rock and soul in a way that gets me grooving no matter where I'm at when I hear it. This is an album that is good from start to finish because it is filled with songs that have both structure and passion. These tracks come to rock and conquer and they succeed on every level.
82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
If there is one thing I can't stand it is a purist music snob. Someone who is so stuck on their own wants and expectations they don't let the artist do what they want to do with their own lives/ careers. This is a great album. It has great songs with great lyrics and powerful vocals. I personally commend any artist who tries something different. Who gives a crap if the artist is going for mass appeal. You people wining about the "overproduction" are the same ones wining that there is nothing on the radio worth listening to. Forget you. This cd freaking rocks. The first track, Paris, is sexy as hell. Oasis has beautiful lyrics and a cool vibe. I say Kudos for trying a different direction. I love her early stuff and I love this CD just as much. Buy it. If you like power vocals with power guitar you'll love this.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Been following GPN for a few years now and have heard many of these songs live time and time again. SO thankful that everyone who may not have heard of this amazing group of talent now has the opportunity to get an album that arguably the best of the year. The band combines strong guitar, voice, and lyrics to create a sound that is unmatchable and straight up awesome. If you are thinking about it, or even reading these reviews...think no more and purchase this album.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2011
Gawd knows I luv the Blues, but I really like her new album. I own everything this woman has done and she hasn't diappointed me yet. The raw power of her voice seems to shine in everything she does. I can't believe anyone that likes her and her band would be dissapointed in her new album. To me this woman doesn't write bad music. She keeps writing and cranking out quality music. As a singer and a writer she is way under exposed and way under rated. Luv her!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2011
I fell in love with the pride of Vermont, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, years ago after seeing them open for Govt. Mule in Bozeman.
I was impressed, not only by the beaming smile, magnificent voice and boundless energy coming from this pint sized beauty, Grace Potter, but her prowess on the B3 Hammond organ. And there's nothing hotter than a woman who wields a Flying V and plays it like a pro.
Her backing band were pretty hot players too. And I fell in love with a woman who introduced her best song of the set, which she introduced as her "sex swing song."
So needless to say, I grabbed the two CDs of hers that were available, unfortunately the song wasn't on any of the CDs.
Nonetheless, I was impressed with the gritty organ powered blues of 2006's Something in the Water, but not so much with the more pop feel of the follow-up "This is Somewhere," so I had to scoop up her new self titled CD. And yes it has the "sex swing song" -- the sexy, bluesy groove of "Paris (Ooh La La)" she even played it on David Letterman back in December.
So that makes the CD immediately enjoyable.
Even better, it splits the difference between the gritty soulful blues of "Something In The Water," and the pop of "This Is Somewhere."
The new CD has plenty of Potter's pretty organ playing, which was missed on "This is Somewhere", a little funk, a touch of blues a little of the gospel featured on `Something In The Water," and is pretty much all awesome.
Her voice features elements of Tina Turner's soul, Gretchen Wilson's twang and Cyndi Lauper style '80s pop.
There are a lot of highlights on the CD. `Paris (Ooh la la) ' of course, and the R and B of `Hot Summer Night,' not only heats up chilly winter nights, but takes you back to the best of '60s soul as does `That Phone.'
`Money,' is definitely not Pink Floyd's `Money', it has its own funky groove and `Goodbye Kiss' even has a touch of reggae.
All in all, Grace Potter makes a long awaited return with a new CD that shows off her sexy, sultry, seductive and beautiful voice, her band's musical chops and covers several different genres. It's good to have her back.
-- by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
I was introduced to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals by my friend who had seen them live. I was definitely not expecting to hear this woman's amazing voice belting out 70's janis joplin style tunes. Low Road, Paris (Ooh La La), and Tiny Light are my favorite songs from this album and I can't stop listening to them!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2010
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals self-titled third album has an interesting story behind it. The record was originially supposed to be produced by T-Bone Burnett. They had a few sessions, but Burnett had to pull out of the album at the last minute, due to his already busy schedule. In the past year alone, he produced Alison Krauss & Robert Plant ("Raising Sand"), Robert Randolph & The Family Band ("We Walk This Road"), Willie Nelson ("Country Music"), John Mellencamp ("No Better Than This"), the soundtrack to the film "Crazy Heart" and Ryan Bingham's recent effort "Junky Star". So Grace Potter recruited Mark Batson, who's best known for his work with India Arie, Nas, Anthony Hamilton and Dave Matthews Band.
The album starts off with the first single "Paris (Ooh La La)", a song that is catchy as it is infectious. She offers an inspiring message on the song "Oasis" and gets down and dirty on the recession-themed "Money". The break-up song "Goodbye Kiss" makes a good case for being on radio, with the slight hint of reggae attached to it. "Only Love" bears an obvious early 70's Motown influence, while "One Short Night" has her regretting having an affair. This album alternates between early blues rock and soul music, and even country- as evidenced in the song "Colors". As great as this album is, one can't help but notice how radio-friendly most of the songs are. But as outstanding as this band is, they deserve to be heard by the masses.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2011
In a corporate radio world where pop tarts and overpowering divas dominate, it's always good to hear newer female artists who stick to a more rootsy kind of rock, a la iconic figures like Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, and Sheryl Crow. You can put Grace Potter and her group the Nocturnals into that category as well. On this, their eponymous album release of 2010, Grace and her band mould a lot of different influences from those artists and their various styles, which are an encyclopedia of blues and country-influenced rock and singer/songwriter from the late 1960s onward, into a totally original brew. As lead vocalist, Grace occasionally shows not only the influence of Janis Joplin, as some reviewers here have succinctly pointed out, but even the Wilson sisters of Heart, on "Paris", "Oasis", and "Medicine", along with the blues/reggae combine on "Goodbye Kiss". Meanwhile, Bonnie's influence comes out on the blues-rockers "Money" and "Low Road."
On other tracks, such as "One Short Night" and the closing "Things I Never Needed", Grace and the Nocturnals go into somewhat more country-influenced territory, but more along the lines of Linda's classic 1970s country-rock albums and those albums (both as a solo singer and as leader of Lone Justice) of Maria McKee, rent with splashes of twangy electric guitar and surrealistic pedal steel guitar. As with the recent albums of Tift Merritt and Allison Moorer, we are a very long way from the corporate kind of country that Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift personify.
While what one reviewer says is true that a lot of this album is radio-friendly, one then has to wonder why an album that is also of such high quality cannot get played on the radio, except maybe in the "AAA" or Adult Rock formats. If this were the 70s, or maybe the mid-90s, when Sheryl Crow burst onto the scene, we would likely be talking about an album that was going gangbusters, but not, it would seem, in this day and age where having a reverence for roots is not a plus for a mass audience in it for the ear candy. Fortunately, however, there is still a fairly robust segment of the listening public that likes this kind of music for a lot of good reasons, and Grace and her Nocturnals should fit that bill just right. It was one of my personal favorites of 2010.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2010
Let me begin by saying that I do really like this band. I personally tend to prefer the earlier albums, but that's just a personal preference, and this album will probably grow on me over time. But its biggest problem is not with the music itself, it's with the production values of the disc. Overall, it sounds terrible to me. It's recorded far too loud, with far too much compression and audible distortion in places. I haven't noticed this problem on any of the other GP&N releases, but this one really does sound pretty awful. Sorry, but it does! What a waste. It could have been so much better.
For the last couple of decades the music industry has been fighting what's now referred to as a "loudness war" in which each album apparently tries to "out-loud" the others. The intent, of course it to make tracks from that album stand out on the radio or when played with other discs on "shuffle play". There is a general, though completely misguided, assumption that louder automatically sounds better. Years ago, when I sold hifi gear for a living, we found that folks almost invariably perceived a speaker that played louder to sound better, even though when the levels were equalized the louder speaker in reality often had inferior sound. Playing off of this phenomenon, the music industry now has a practice of using excess compression and outright loudness to presumably trick people into paying more attention. And the results have been abominable. Some albums from recent years have been almost painful to listen to for this very reason. This is nothing new of course, it's a practice used decades ago on 45 singles to make them sound better on jukeboxes and AM radio. But those days should be over and done with. Before you label me a crackpot, do a quick online search and you will find many articles from audio-oriented magazines and other sources; people who care about good sound have been complaining about this for years. You'll even find complaints about this very album from fans on the Grace Potter and the Nocturnals website. And the last time I looked they were being summarily dismissed. Such is the state of the music biz today.
Look, loudness is great. I happen to believe that playing most music loud is the best way to fully appreciate it. But ONLY if the sound is CLEAN. Over-the-top compression and distortion don't sound good at any volume. I really don't believe that the band intended for their latest release to sound this bad, and the fact that it does is really a crying shame. To quote myself from above, what a waste-- it could have been so much better. This is a great little band, and both they and their fans deserve better than this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2010
This is a group a person can easily learn to favor for the long haul. Their music lives and breathes as I hear it and respond. It's a personal sound with a public resonance. Now that I've enjoyed three albums I can see they're doing what I like doing in my own endeavors -- improving. Most of the changes, including exploring the lyrical rhythms of a red hot momma, and the new band members, are good. I'm hoping Ms Potter doesn't go too far with the changes, though, because I love that smokin' voice and the songs she writes from the heart to exploit it.