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Adam Power | More Juice (Laughing Outlaw)
Think of Australian pop music and the Bee Gees inevitably spring to mind; OK, the Brothers Gibb might have been born in the UK but to all intents and purposes they were Oz's very own singing sensations when they sprung into the charts back in the late '60s. So, with that in mind, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that Adam Power sites Barry, Robin and Maurice as the reason why he ventured into pop music in the first place. Adam saw the Bee Gees at Brisbane Entertainment Centre when he was fifteen and was blown away. It has taken him until now to realise his ambition...to release a proper CD, full of his own songs. And, guess what? He sounds just like...Paul McCartney! Not only that, but the arrangements on this, his debut album, reek of the '60s with nods to the Fab Four, the Beach Boys and - all right then - the Bee Gees. Adam's a singer-songwriter, but the songs sound like they were recorded by a group, which is interesting, considering all the instruments were played by himself and Australian rock producer/writer/singer Michael Carpenter. After a breezy, choppy, garage-y first track (Under The Influence) the McCartney influences start to kick in. Maybe it's the inflection in his voice, or the Beatlesy piano, or the harmonies, whatever, but Idol Caper is a dead ringer for 'McCartney'-era Macca. As for Winston Jones, the Beatles/McCartney influence is so strong I started to get shivers down my spine. Then came the title track, More Juice. Now, whether Adam realises it or not, it's Across The Universe with heavy orchestration and crashing drums. No bad thing and, to be fair, this is an enjoyable little album, but I couldn't help but wonder if Adam's talent - and he does have a lot, that's pretty evident - hasn't been buried under that all-pervading McCartney influence. Actually, does he even realise he sounds like Sir Paul? In the end, it doesn't matter, really. For, if you are a fan of early-to-middle period McCartney, like singer-songwriters and classic pop, enjoy good, old-fashioned foot-tapping tunes, then 'More Juice' is for you. I only hope that when he comes to producing the follow-up, which he surely will, Adam Power will have found his own voice. But, if his long awaited solo pop career fails, he can always join a Beatles tribute band.
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003