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Powell, Roger: Fossil Poets

Finding himself now on the same label (Inner Knot) as King Crimson, Robert Fripp, John Paul Jones, and Bill Bruford, former Todd Rundgren & Utopia synthesizer wiz Roger Powell returns with his latest retro-futuristic solo album titled Fossil Poets. Fans of the keyboard master fully know of the man's talents, as evident on other solo albums like Cosmic Furnace, Air Pocket, Utopia releases such as Another Live, Road to Utopia, Oops! Wrong Planet, as well as the multi-platinum Bat Out of Hell from Meat Loaf and David Bowie's Lodger. Fossil Poets is a groove-laden mix of lite-fusion, futuristic prog rock, and ambient/electronic soundscapes, featuring the multi-faceted attack from Powell and his array of keyboards, the tasty guitar playing of Greg Koch, and additional synths, songwriting, and production courtesy of Gary Tanin.

Roger's got his Minimoog Voyager, Nord Modular, Korg MS-2000, and many other instruments (including mandolin, flugelhorn, and flute) dusted off for this release, and you can read all the different keyboards he used on the inside of the digipack. Listen to those snarling Hammond tones and funky synth pads on "Creme Fraiche", a groovy number where Powell shares the lead spotlight with Koch and his Jeff Beck-like licks. "Lone Gunman" is a great proggy piece with no shortage of textured synth washes and effective lead melodies, and "Tribe By Fire" is a nice ethnic piece with flutes, Koch's fluttering lead guitar, and 70's styled electric piano passages. On "Peaceful Uprising", Powell lets loose with some wild synth blasts amidst manic electronic drums, while Koch bursts through the gate on "Serpentine" with some lethal guitar solos over some bubbling synth patterns from Powell. You'll again be reminded of Jeff Beck, especially the Guitar Shop era, on the kickin' "Fallout Shelter", complete with rampaging guitar licks and plenty of futuristic keyboards.

If there's any fault with Fossil Poets, it's that some of the songs follow an all too similar path, but that can be overlooked as the playing here is quite good. Really, what do we expect from a pro like Roger Powell? Quality, that's what, and along with some scorching guitar work from Greg Koch, Fossil Poets is a very strong release from this veteran keyboard wizard.

Track Listing
1. Lone Gunman
2. Fallout Shelter
3. Delayed Reaction
4. Test Drive
5. Creme Fraiche
6. Too Much Rain
7. Underwater City
8. Dauphine
9. Tribe By Fire
10. Miles Per Gallon
11. Peaceful Uprising
12. Serpentine
13. Zentegrity
14. Osmosis
15. Astrae

Added: October 19th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2642
Language: english

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