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Doug Powell | Day For Night (Parasol)
After almost a decade of label-hopping and false starts it's reassuring to find Doug Powell has at last found a more stable home -  'Day For Night' being his second album for esteemed US indie Parasol, following 'The Lost Chord', his impressive first outing for them in 2002.
A protégé of Todd Rundgren, Powell is a similarly ambitious, technically proficient multi-instrumentalist, 'Day For Night' being an entirely solo undertaking. Not that you'd guess from the everything plus the kitchen sink approach he adopts.  Perhaps slightly lacking the comparative immediacy of its predecessor, as a master craftsman, Powell never allows his sublimely melodic, grandiosely arranged, occasionally lyrically impenetrable songs to be overwhelmed by his ambition to push at the boundaries of the form. Admittedly it may be a close call at times but for me his marriage of baroque pop and progressive rock conveyed with an almost cinemascopic breadth of vision is a habit well worth acquiring. I defy anyone not to be smitten by the likes of Stanislav Smith, a 24ct pop diamond or Shine, which does that and more. Providing yet more evidence of a bold and innovative pop talent at work, 'Day For Night' is a more than welcome addition to Powell's far too brief résumé.

Geraint Jones
March-April 2004