Grace Potter & the Nocturnals 'The Lion The Beast The Beat' - Hollywood Records

I had the pleasure of seeing Grace Potter play live in Dublin recently and her performance was compelling and inspiring, in both her stage presence and her vocal range. If you are looking for the vocal power of Janis Joplin and the stage confidence of a Melissa Etheridge, then it is probable that Grace Potter would be a regular feature in your CD collection.

This is her fifth release within the last ten years and the collection really kicks into a different gear with the wonderful Stars, a tribute to a lost friend, where her heartfelt vocal sends a shiver down the spine. Followed by the excellent Timekeeper, ‘please won’t you slow it down tonight’; the songs really start to kick into life. Turntable has all the ingredients for a chart hit with a great beat and a lyric that implores you to ‘put your needle in my groove’.

Perhaps the frustration for an artist like Grace Potter lies in the need to reach for commercial recognition, without giving up on her instinct to push her sound into new territory. The production on the CD plays a little safe and between the lines for these ears, especially when I believe that Grace Potter is so much better than the overall impression gained across these eleven tracks.

Great Adult Oriented Rock and the songs certainly run along at a pace. Closing song, The Divide, sounds too much like a Fleetwood Mac workout and the artwork does little to attract a new audience. However, I can’t help thinking that the power of a ballad like One Heart Missing is the true course that this really talented artist should be navigating into her future recording career. Do catch her live if you can, as the real soul of this band is best captured in a room where the essence cannot be distilled or overly polished.