Not So Black And White

Rachel Potter

Black Is The New Pink Records, 2015

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Like a lot of young talent in the music industry, Rachel Potter also dabbles in acting and TV. After some stints on Broadway in The Addams Family and The Mistress, Potter looked to reality TV to really make her mark. After she covered songs by Queen and Heart on The X Factor, the buzz about this young bartender was alive on the Internet. However, Potter was no neophyte to the music business. She had already released an album of original material in 2002.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Now 13 years later, the bartender/actress/musician returns with Not So Black And White. Currently a resident of Nashville, Potter fittingly puts more country influence into her playful pop rock than her peers – and a whole lot wider of a vocal range, too. The opening song, “Zero To Sixy,” lays the foundation for her formula well, as the acrobatic fiddle playing complements the pop-friendly melodies well. Comparisons to artists like The Dixie Chicks and Taylor Swift are inevitably drawn. Potter does follow this quick-paced first track with a couple more introspective and slower songs, where gentle backing vocals really punctuate the mood well, especially on the title track “Not So Black And White.”

While the younger ears will surely gravitate towards the upbeat songs, I find Potter's finest moments here are when her voice is allowed the most space, such as the piano heavy “Try” or the barnyard balladry of “Jesus And Jezebel.” She closes the album on Queen's “Somebody To Love,” which of course is only a patch on the greatness of the original, but it is a valiant effort and a whole lot better than most could do.

There's little doubt that a lot of work went into this album. No less than 20 musicians lend their talents and each song has been fine-tuned in the studio to the nth degree. Had this album come out a decade ago, it would surely be topping charts and turning heads. But in 2015, there's just so many similar artists, and while Potter's pipes are better than most and these songs are just as memorable as anything else on the radio, one can't help but feel that there's something vital missing to really instill lasting power. It will be interesting to see where Potter goes from here.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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