August 9, 2007

This Is Somewhere

Grace Potter's newest album, This is Somewhere hit stores on Tuesday, and I've finally gotten a chance to really listen to it, and man, what a fantastic album - This one's a must to pick up, it's a great addition to her works, and in some cases, a bit of an improvement over some of her older stuff. It's got some changes from Original Soul and Nothing But the Water, but it retains her older songwriting skills, even if they go for a bit of a different, slightly more mainstream sound. Here it is:

Ah Mary
The album opens up with a jolt with Ah Mary, which has a great beat and energy to it, and compared to most of the Nocturnal's songs, it's a lot more mainstream than their usual stuff, no surprise, considering that they're now on a major record label. It's almost like their first foray into the rock world. In addition, it's got some political overtones to it, but it's somewhat subtle enough to not notice at first.

Stop The Bus
Stop the Bus starts out casually with the opening lyrics, before settling into a fantastic chorus that drives the song and keeps the beat going. It's a love song, first and foremost, but a realistic one. The whole thing has a carefree feel to it that makes it great for speeding down the road with.

This slows the album down quite a bit from the first two tracks. Grace takes over the piano, and from a love song, it goes to a bit of a breakup song. The bass and drums kick in with the chorus, which take up a good beat, but overall, it's a really somber song. The song takes its time and really demonstrates the superior songwriting that these guys are really good at.

Ain't No Time
This one sounds like it's been influenced by folk/country music more than rock music. It's got a good beat throughout the entire song, and at this point, the album seems to settle in to a good place here, although it's not the best song off of the album.

Mr. Columbus
This starts off nicely with a good piano and guitar beat before the drums cut in with Grace with a beat that just goes and goes. It has energy that really builds, and it suits the song, about the explorer Columbus with the lyrics "We've found the edge of the world", and is a fun, slightly pop-ish song, a large departure from some of their earlier works. This is one of the stronger cuts from the album, and really demonstrates Grace's vocal works, as well as the insturmental work on the part of the band.

You May See Me
The album quiets down again to this low, smokey, bluesy song. There's some great play with the words, repeating words, taking its time as if there's no rush. Its a nice change to listen to, and has some of the best lyrics on the album.

Lose Some Time
The album continues with a more mellow tone with Lose Some Time, and once again, demonstrates Grace's fantastic vocals. It's got a bit more drive than You May See Me, but retains the laidback feel for the duration, as well as some fantastic lyrics.

Mastermind starts off low, with a bit of a laid back beat, and starts to build up for the opening. This is another one of the really strong songs for the album. Once the song hits the chorus, the energy ramps up and goes into high gear and then backs off a bit once again.

Here's To The Meantime
This song goes up and down with energy, gaining and backing off. It's a little uneven, and this one seems to be influenced by country as well. It's a fun listen, but it's one of the weaker songs of the album. (Although the weak songs here are better than some on other albums. Don't get me wrong, all of these songs are really good.)

Falling Or Flying
Really fantastic lyrics are demonstrated here in Falling or Flying. It's a slower song, bluesy, and highly descriptive. There's some really good imagery here, and the delicate guitar and vocal work here makes this one of the stronger songs of the album. It picks up over the duration of the song and really settles in nicely. It's no wonder that this song was used on Grey's Anatomy. If anything, that show's got a good soundtrack and taste in music.

Big White Gate
The last track on the album is also one of the strongest. This one's lyrical and a story of a dying woman finding faith at her last breathe. This one's also really the most in line with the Nocturnal's older music, and it's such a rich song that really makes this one stand out.

If I Was From Paris (Bonus Track)
This song's only on iTunes for the moment, but when the record is released in vinyl, it'll be included. According to Grace, this one's one of her favorites, and explodes from the beginning with the guitar and forward lyrics. This one just screams energy and is a really fun one to listen to, and really seems to be the band cutting loose and having fun.

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