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Album Reviews

Power sings a nation's support

By Dora Tsavdaridis
May 20, 2005

Adam Power

Support ... Power hopes the song lifts Corby's spirits. Picture: Derek Moore
MUSICIAN Adam Power has penned a song of hope for Schapelle Corby.
Power, 30, has also sung the track, Rise of Corby, in the hope people will like it enough so he can release it as a single.
He intends to self-fund the single if there is enough feedback from the public and donate all profits from sales to Corby and her family.
"I think she is innocent. I've been following her case from the beginning and I think she needs to know that Australians are behind her," Power said yesterday.
"I had the melody for a little while and wrote the lyrics in the past couple of weeks."
He said he did what he could by writing and recording the song about "her plight and her innocence".
"My aim is to give voice to the feelings of so many Australians who would like to reach out to Schapelle in her time of despair," he said.
Power said he would feel he had succeeded if the song gave Corby some hope and lifted her spirits.

Rise of Corby
(Click to hear )

You're not alone.
An Australian nation
stands behind
All your friends at
home, are standing
near and by your side

Don't give her life,
life for what for?
Oh...she will rise
Woah...she will rise
Where the hell's
the justice?
The justice now.
Why on earth should
you, pay for someone
else's crime?
If only you knew
what destiny had in
mind. Time...
Chorus again

Maverick Magazine Review

Pennyblack Music Review: Click to view their website

Adam Power : What Were Sundays For

It’s been three long years since Adam Power’s last album; the well received ‘More Juice’ on Laughing Outlaw Records. Like that album this new collection is also produced by power pop ace Michael Carpenter which means that it’s going to be another accomplished set of songs well produced and played. That’s obvious from the duo’s history. But the interesting thing this time was whether they could they come up with something other than a duplicate of ‘More Juice’. As good as that set of songs was, it did make me wonder if this was just going to be more of the same.

Well, it is more of the same and it isn’t. Those perfect power-pop songs are all there as before. The production, singing and playing by Carpenter are up to his usual extremely high standard, and Power certainly hasn’t lost his way when it comes to writing those pure pop melodies. But there is a definite harder edge this time round. Sure, those sweet 60's sounds are still there, notably on songs like ‘Two-Faced’ where Power shows his Beatles influences to great effect. Those outstanding harmonies are also all present and correct even on the rockier songs like ‘Walk’ but there’s something in these songs that shows that Power now feels he has a rightful place making music like this. There is a confidence that shines through that was missing from ‘More Juice’.

There are many who hark back to that golden era of the 60's for inspiration (and rightly so), but, as so many people are attempting it, just recreating those sounds, however, is simply not enough anymore. Power obviously realises that Michael Carpenter has been responsible for some of the better efforts to recapture the sounds of that time and in staying with Carpenter for this follow up he has been given the freedom to grow while still showing his love of the music of the past.

Power has, in more ways than one, found his own voice here. His vocals are stronger. He never had any problem on the slower, melodic, McCartney influenced songs like the title track of this album or ‘The Obvious’ ('Abbey Road' devotees should start with this song) but on the more raucous songs like ‘Eunice Chantilly’ he really sounds like he has found his calling this time. Although the Beatles again could be cited as an influence Power really shines on this song, rocking out with some dirty guitar lines and with back up vocals from Sarah McGregor adding a gospel feel to the song. Although not a giant step from ‘More Juice’ the progression is more than a little noticeable.

The greatest thing about this album is that now Power is handling the rockier side of things as well as he does the more sensitive material (just listen to the Carpenter penned ‘Heartbreaker’ for proof) that there is not the need to fall to one side or the other. And when he mixes the two together as on the outstanding ‘Sad And Lonely’ where Power’s vocals take on a tougher edge betraying the heavenly harmonies and dreamy melody ( again the song is that good it could have been an 'Abbey Road' track) one can only hope that Power doesn’t take another 3 years before we hear from him again.

All in all, this is an excellent follow up to ‘More Juice’ which shows how Power has grown as a songwriter and performer in the last three years and while never losing sight of his influences now has his own place securely marked out in the power pop genre.

Malcolm Carter

Whisperin And Hollerin Review: Click to their website

Label: 'BIG RADIO ('
Genre: 'Rock'
Release Date: '26th June 2006'
Catalogue No: 'BRR20062'
Our Rating: 8/10

Australian singer/ songwriter ADAM POWER’S debut album “More Juice” (2003) was a great record from a talented and creative individual in thrall to the Beatles, Big Star and Brian Wilson but with an equally great desire to stretch and experiment in and around the parameters of classic power pop.

It remains a record that often returns to this writer’s flagging stereo for further exposure and looks set to be followed equally often by Power’s second “What Were Sundays For?” where our hero is again aided and abetted by Australia’s greatest living cult hero: producer extraordinaire/ personal orchestra for hire and ace singer/ songwriter in his own right, Michael Carpenter.

The feverishly creative duo have come up with something pretty damn good for their return match, too, as Power’s sophomore effort is a consistently fine record with the expected glorious harmonies, intelligent song craft and catchy melodies present and correct; not to mention the odd unlikely curveball chucked in to keep us interested.

The attractive, piano-based instrumental “Amor” acts as the short introduction (or ‘Underture’ as Pete Townshend might say) before the dreamy and Beatloid title track welcomes us into Power’s lush and classy pop world. There’s an attractive space in the arrangement, some great baritone guitar and Carpenter’s bass playing basically IS Paul McCartney. It never sounds contrived, though, and while songs like the gently countrified canter of “The Obvious”, the swaying “Truth” and the melancholic “Sad & Lonely” can’t fail to recall the Fab Four and the likes of Neil Finn, it’s always on Power’s own terms. Besides, he always does something to make you sit up and take notice, like the way he inserts the unexpected lyric about “jerk offs” into “Sad & Lonely”: thus jarring you in the same way as the lyric “why don’t you piss off?” does in New Order’s otherwise elegant “Your Silent Face.”

Besides, it’s not all dignified balladry and adult pop chez Power, as the album’s also more than capable of letting its’ hair down on tunes like the full-on rave-up “Heartbreaker”, the smouldering and wired “Recluse” and the assured strut of “Eunice Chantilly”, where Power and Carpenter set up a groove every bit as sassy as the lady Power describes as “tempting him with booty.” Indeed, if ever a track has required a wolf whistle in acknowledgement, it’s surely this one.

Arguably, though, they leave the best for last with “Praha 1”: Power’s tale of love and intrigue in the Czech Republic, which I assume is taken from personal experience as our hero was photographed wandering across the city’s Charles Bridge on the inside sleeve of “More Juice.” Whatever the truth, though, it’s an evocative tour de force with little Berthold Brecht-style burlesque sections recreated lovingly as the song spins itself out and Power tangles with the European femme fatale and creates something truly memorable in tribute.

Favourites aside, though, Adam Power’s second album is a consistently impressive listen and one you can only continue to warm to with repeated exposure. “What Were Sundays For” then? Surely kicking back and relaxing with a great record. Mine still are when I can get hold of something cool like this.




CD Baby Review: Click to view their website

It can't be properly explained but music can definitely change people's lives forever. The turning point for Adam Power was a Bee Gees concert at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre which he attended with his dad when he was just 15. Says Adam, "The next day I wagged school and have never stopped writing songs since. I think working my way down to the front of the stage and having Barry Gibb look down and smile at me singing 'You Win Again' absolutely gave me at least 10 years of future motivation."

Much time has passed since that fateful night and along the way Adam has realised many dreams including mastering one of his self-released EPs at Abbey Road studios where his hero Paul McCartney recorded many Beatles classics and performed at the prestigious International Pop Overthrow festival in Los Angeles with his mate and producer, Michael Carpenter. But it has taken until now for him to realise his ambition of releasing his debut album. Has it been worth the wait? Damn right!

More Juice was recorded at Sydney's Stagefright Studios and has all the hallmarks of classic pop music. But with Michael Carpenter at the mixing desk, this should perhaps be no big surprise. The Beatles and other 60's psychedelic influences are definitely present and accounted for, but you will also hear elements of the Beach Boys, Elton John, the Gibbs brothers, and even Bread. There is also a harder guitar edge to some of the tracks that recalls the best power pop bands of the 70s and early 80s. But front and centre are Adam's unique voice, finely honed from performing live night after night in his hometown of Brisbane, and his wonderful melodies and harmonies.

The album is a veritable feast of great pop music as evidenced by just the first five tracks. The opening track, 'Under The Influence', is laced with power chords and backwards guitar lines, second track 'Idol Caper' is driven by a melancholic keyboard and strings, the whimsical 'Winston Jones' recalls the best bits on Revolver, the title track builds from a quiet acoustic guitar strum with string accompaniment to a powerful crescendo, while track five 'Fact Of You' is an out and out rocker complete with distorted lead vocals. And remember that's just the first five tracks!

It's been a long, hard road for Adam Power in search of his musical destiny. But what has kept him on track throughout the years is his spiritual connection with the songs of the performers he loves and admires. In Adam's own words, "I'm bloody emotional when it comes to music. For example, the break in 'God Only Knows' and the chorus and verse two in 'Golden Slumbers' off Abbey Road are just two of the things that will definitely bring a tear to my eye ...even without a glass of wine".

Laughing Outlaw Records is delighted to present the musical talents of Adam Power to the world in the form of his debut CD. 'More Juice' is a special album and confirms once again that Australia is home to some of the finest singer songwriters operating in the pop and alt country worlds today. If you don't believe us, then come taste 'More Juice' for yourself. We can assure you it tastes just fine!

Splendid Magazine Review: Click to view their website

The appropriately named Australian Adam Power makes well-crafted, professionally polished power pop, whose songwriting formulas (adroitly executed here) ultimately derive from the Beatles and the Bee Gees circa 1968. He doesn't sound much like a Gibb; when he cuts loose he sounds uncannily like Lou Gramm of Foreigner. But rather than roar bombastically, Power is generally more inclined to warble genially in the manner of Billy J. Kramer (though he sounds considerably more congested). Inviting comparisons to '60s British invasion bands is generally dicey, because almost no one can compare favorably to what is perhaps the strongest and most definitive period in rock history. Adam Power is no exception; his derivativeness is most intrusive when he is at his most Beatlesque, as on More Juice's title track, with its tasteful strings and its minor sevenths, or on the vaguely whimsical "Winston Jones", which partakes of the spirit of the Bee Gees' "Harry Braff" or "Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts". That's not to say these songs are bad -- in fact, they are two of the strongest. It's just that they'll inevitably remind you how superior their inspirations are and force you to wonder why you're not listening to Revolver or Horizontal instead.

Also, Power's atavistic approach is inherently nostalgic, and thus sentimental, even though his lyrics don't want to suggest maudlin sentimentality. They are instead filled with curious turns of phrase that must make more sense Down Under: "It's jabber time and plastic things I leave behind," or "A midriff top and a short skirt will have to shit him," or "I'm knackered all day / This spill will pay off soon." A few songs, unfortunately, deal with the tribulations of dealing with the music industry, a topic no one (outside of other musicians, who certainly sympathize) wants to hear about, and which forces us to realize that the songs are about him instead of us, thereby undermining their effectiveness.

Still, the craftsmanship and the hooks here are usually winning enough to distract listeners from what Power is singing about -- enough to make them forget that he's working hard at excelling in a moribund genre and that his successes will always also be failures to live up to the legends he admires.


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