Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: The Lion The Beast The Beat

Written by June 12th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
The Lion The Beast The Beat
(Hollywood)
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Potter’s collaboration with Black Key Dan Auerbach on her band’s four studio set should have produced tough, blues rocking fireworks. Instead it yields professionally played, commercially acceptable and adequate, but seldom more, melodic rock. If you enjoy ’80s Heart, this hangs out in a similar alley, except without Ann Wilson’s distinctive vocals. The Nocturnals are basically a faceless bunch and while these songs are well written, only a few such as “The Loneliest Soul” with its bizarre “na-naa” backing vocals and Gary Glitter beat jump out and demand repeated replays. Tracks such as “Turntable” that feature girl-as-vinyl (“I will be your record, you will be my turntable”) and “Keepsake” (with girl-as-keepsake) metaphors try but can’t compensate for their lyrical clumsiness with meaty riffs and hooks. Thankfully the funky “Runaway” and the ambitious, five minute, string enhanced closer “The Divide” show the lurking promise that never quite materializes for the majority of this well meaning but ultimately disappointing release.

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