Grace Potter And The Nocturnals are back for their fifth studio album, and second one of 2012. The Lion The Beast The Beat is a collection of songs that range from soft and bittersweet to ones that are in your face. While reading the liner notes, it seemed like The Wizard Of Oz and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe crossed over and were given some sort of hallucinogen, which makes for an interesting visual.

From the start of “The Lion The Beast The Beat,” there’s a sense of regality, much like the king of the jungle itself. However, as the piece progresses and Grace Potter’s jagged, roaring voice wails over gritty instrumentals, the nobility is replaced by sheer badassery. Though the album got off to a strong, energetic start, the next four songs or so are much lighter yet don’t lack in quality. Songs such as “Never Go Back” and “Parachute Heart” have a retro pop vibe that keeps the release interesting and fun. Grace Potter And The Nocturnals dish out a slew of surprises as the album continues on. “Loneliest Soul” has a catchy, circusy sound complete with slightly eerie “na na nas.” The sixth cut has a bass groove that mesmerizes the listener as handclaps and Potter’s voice enforces the spell. From that point on, the collection gets funkier but still remains unique.

Whether one is looking for heavy basslines, flirty beats, sweet, soulful vocals, off-beat tempos or shimmering guitar licks, The Lion The Beast The Beat has it.

In A Word: Mighty

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