Saved is the latest release from songwriter Jo Potter. It’s the follow up to her well received project 8 Circles, and a gorgeous introduction to her creative work and the progression of her sound thus far.
Beginning with the title track, the music has the nostalgic warmth of artists from perhaps a simpler time within the music world. The sound of Jo’s voice and the organic nature of the instrumentation pays a soulful tribute to power songs from the nineties. The Corrs and The Beautiful South came to mind on occasion, though the word soulful is key here – there’s something incredibly stylish and smooth about Jo Potter’s music that separates it from any brief comparisons. Good is the perfect example of this passion and swagger that shines brightly throughout the release, it’s also an early indicator of the level of inspiration and the varying hints of genre that appear from here on in.
Following the alluring energy of Good, In Time breaks things down significantly and offers an acoustic guitar led track that lays the artist’s leading vocal almost completely bear at first. The song soon erupts into a huge pop chorus, not dissimilar to Alanis Morrisette’s style of performance and writing, though soaked in a welcome freshness among today’s chaotic world of music. There are some stunning moments of songwriting within this album, each and every song in fact offers something creatively true to the artist yet still easy to relate to and connect with. When Things Go Wrong is no exception, a fierce hook melody and a stunning, smooth and skillful musical backdrop supporting the essence of the song.
In addition to the writing, it’s worth pointing out how enjoyable Jo Potter’s voice is to listen to. The character and tone of the voice presents something brand new for audiences to embrace, and regardless of the setting – the mellow or the upbeat, the delicate or the intense and passionate, the artist’s performance never falls short. It’s a stunning leading vocal that brings a slight country twang on occasion, adding a further touch of individuality to the mix.
The country element is not far removed from many of the songs. The guitar sound dips in and out of the soundscape, and when it comes to a track like Give It To Me, there’s an abundance of raw energy delivered by means of an undoubtedly country rock structured backdrop. One thing’s for certain – Jo Potter knows how to write a hook. Whether it’s the light hearted and fun side of the songwriter’s work, or the more intimate and emotional, these hooks have impact. So Beautiful is a strong example of the latter, and well placed to hold a striking contrast with the former song. This one is beautiful, so easy to relax to, something that rings true in fact for the entire album.
So Into You redirects things along the more sultry, seductive side of the songwriter’s creative arena. The songs are so well arranged on this project, the variation between subject matter and the overall vibe of each song is notable and effective thanks to the thoughtful ordering of the playlist. The album is something of a roller coaster through human emotions and desires, accessible in the way that great pop music is, yet consistently relevant to the personality of the artist behind it all.
Something brings the organic country rock vibes back in full force, as well as offering perhaps some of the songwriter’s most reflective and provocative lyrics. The development of the melody here is superb, the song has the addictive qualities of any timeless hit; a definite highlight and impossible to only hear once. Then once again the energy comes down a little. Gravity is a down tempo, almost acoustic offering that portrays Jo Potter’s leading voice in a raw and even vulnerable manner. These touches of realness or humanness add so much to the overall pull of the music. A similar mood unfolds as Still begins to play. The leading riff for this song is immediately appealing and instantly recognisable once you’ve heard it. Lovely guitar work and a beautifully delicate vocal performance.
The penultimate song of the album, And Again, strikes as something of an epic piece of music. Feeling slightly like the final wave, the track offers a sensational hook section again that draws you right back into the centre of the music. The legitimate ending to the album is a stunning acoustic version of So Beautiful, a lasting reminder of the enjoyable nature of the artist’s vocal and songwriting style. It’s great way to finish – making you certain that a live show from Jo Potter would be every bit as captivating as the recordings.