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Doug Powell | The Lost Cause (Parasol)
Now, this really is fabulous. Powell has been knocking out increasingly ambitious pop music for several years and seems to crop up on a new label for each release. He's worked with Todd Rundgren in the past and was until recently a member of the short-lived power-pop supergroup, Swag, which also included Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick and former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer amongst others. With the exception of Prairie Prince, the ex-Tubes drummer, who turns up on just one track, Baby Blue, 'The Lost Chord' is entirely Doug's work - that's writing, performance, production and graphics (it even looks good too, think Galileo meets Leonardo Da Vinci). 'The Lost Chord' is sumptuous, grandiose and overblown in equal measure. It's also unquestionably anachronistic. A head-on collision of pomp, AOR and power-pop that ambitiously draws on his experience with Todd Rundgren, a man he's clearly indebted to. With the vocal dexterity and dazzling arrangements of Jellyfish and the exuberant pop thrills of Cheap Trick at their best, this is an unadulterated joy from start to finish. My only criticism would be that at just 41 minutes, it is far too short! There's so much going on here and it's performed with such gusto that its brevity is almost cruel. A fantastic pop record!
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002