There are bound to be some very strong and differentiating opinions on this new solo album from Grace Potter – best known for fronting jam-band favorites Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. I found her by way of my closest friend, whose opinion I trust completely. She hipped me to them with their self-titled 2010 album and for someone who never paid much attention to the new generation of jam bands, this record stood out and made me a fan.
On Midnight, her official second solo album, it’s nowhere near what one would expect as this album is 100% hi-gloss, danceable, radio-friendly pop. Whether or not that alienates long-time fans who are scratching their heads, thinking Grace Potter has become a glamour-pop-diva, is immaterial. Taken at face value, this is quality modern pop with all the right touches. Melodies, hooks and take-your-breath-away vocals. Keeping in mind, Ms. Potter has a drop-dead powerhouse voice and here, she just cuts and rips right through these songs with an absolute intensity and abandon.
The rollercoaster ride begins with the sultriness of “Hot To The Touch” and immediately speeds into “Alive Tonight”, with its Jeff Lynne-style gated drum rhythm and onto “Your Girl” with its very clever and sexually ambiguous lyrics. “Instigators” just attacks at full-throttle with explosive choruses and “Delirious” has a dance groove straight out of 1983. “Nobody’s Born With A Broken Heart” has a singalong, near-gospel feel but crisp and buoyant instrumentation and “Let You Go” is the most restrained moment; a mournful ballad that ends this thrilling free-for-all in subdued and thoroughly satisfactory fashion.
So as I said, you can make your arguments, but taken as a single piece of work, Midnight is a fine piece of pop – the way pop ought to be. And Grace Potter has the chops in concert to back up the recorded product. Midnight, all day, baby.
Midnight is available now.