Potomac Accord
"In One-Hundred Years The Prize Will Be Forgotten"

(First Flight Records 2003)Potomac Accord - In One-Hundred Years The Prize Will Be Forgotten

Ever since Elton John made piano ballads and crooning an art form, others have sought to pick up the slack. Like the mellow but serious side of Rufus Wainwright, The Potomac Accord's focus point seems to be both the piano and the vocals.

"A Quiet White Cut by the Longest Blue Shadows" opens the album. A dramatic piano ballad of sorts, "A Quiet White Cut…" builds up to a loud, full sound before a decrescendo. Like thunder, the piano on "Sunset on the Empire" is a controlled boom that then rumbles into the distance as emotional vocals blend in. With a bit more drums, "The Empty Road" has bit more of a beat although "the road" seems to make an unexpected turn as the song ends with a female voice speaking French. More melodic, "Some Kind of Farewell Forever" has character in its rhythm and tune as "Ghost of Kalamazoo" returns to the quieter, lower sound of earlier in the album with an engaging instrumental ending. Quieter and brooding, "Newly Fallen Century" ends the album with a slightly different sound and tone than the previous songs.

The Potomac Accord certainly does not leave much dead time on the forty-two minute long album that is made up of six tracks. Unfortunately, the songs blend together more than they could simply because each song has a similar structure (begin quietly, build up and then end) and use similar vocal and instrument sounds. With that said, "In One-Hundred Years The Prize Will Be Forgotten" has more than a little potential and the songs, taken both individually or as a collection, have something special about them and, with their extreme dynamics, draw you in.

B+

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