American actress/singer/songwriter Rachel Potter has been making a buzz in the music scene over the last few years, from featuring in various musical roles at Disney World (Ariel in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, among others) and making her broadway debut as Wednesday Addams in the musical adaptation of the beloved The Addams Family. Her career in music has been evolving over the years too, becoming an X Factor US contestant during its third season and her debut EP Help Me Live The Dream was successfully crowd funded via Kickstarter. This year Potter is set to release her new studio album Not So Black and White, another successfully fan funded project ready for your ears to hear.
If you have seen Rachel perform or have listened to her voice before, you know that you’re in for a sweet treat, she has that young and fresh tonal quality to her pipes; opening track Zero To Sixty is fast paced and grabs you from its get go, making a great first impression of the album from the country/pop sound Potter is known for. Gonna Get Burned retains the energy from its predecessor with a more in depth and guitar savvy vibe; Potter mentioned in her Pledge campaign that she wanted to take time to create something special and make a difference, title track Not So Black and White brings that message home with its uplifting feel and encouraging lyrics. Radio offers you a fun country sound you’ll find yourself bopping along to, whilst Potter’s serenading voice in Try woos you along with its piano arrangement and subtle beat; tracks like Butterfly and Tail Lights freshen up the air with their light hearted yet deep and meaningful feel.
Joey Stamper features on the pop infused Boomerang, which sees Potter continue the airy pop vibe the album has going for it; Sit Here Next To Me is another cutesy number, not too versatile from the content we’ve heard already but fits in just the same. Jesus and Jezebel again doesn’t bring anything sonically new to the table, but its powerful message makes up for that, the lyrics were inspired by her gay best friend in a fight against negative religious perception; Moon Over Nashville is this nice little guitar/harmonica ballad that became the album’s next highlight since Try. Unfortunately Worth It came off as a little bland, mainly because its sound hasn’t been unfamiliar throughout the album with its chanting backing vocals and airy country/pop vibe; the album closes with Potter’s cover of Queen’s Somebody To Love, the track that got her through the chair audition on X Factor, and rightfully so.
Rachel Potter truly has star potential, as we’ve seen on X Factor and on broadway, and her voice really is a treat; Not So Black and White is a decent album to come back with after her Help Me Live The Dream EP, which reintroduced us to the sound her fans and listeners have fallen in love with. The only quarrels with the album you would have is that perhaps the songs may blend in too well with each other, at times you thought you were listening to the same tracks over again, leaving you with a longing for some versatility; very much like mainstream pop music, it’s hard to find a country track that doesn’t sound like anything else. The album had its highlights though, which helped to make it a decent listen overall.