The term "pop genius" gets thrown around a lot, but in my opinion the label is an appropriate one for Doug Powell. If you're not familiar with his music and you regularly read this site, you're definitely missing out. As the AMG bio I linked to states, he's cut from the Todd Rundgren/Andy Partridge mold. I'd add Jeff Lynne in there as well. Unfortunately for us, Doug has decided to leave the music biz, a sadly common occurrence when the quality of talent isn't equated by a quantity in sales. Still, he's left us an outstanding body of work, and his fans are going to get a new release before he goes, Four Seasons.
Four Seasons will be an oddities collection, containing a 4-song Japan-only EP (Venus DeMilo's Arms), two songs from an aborted album, a song he wrote for Ringo Starr, and most interesting of all, five songs he wrote for The New Cars when he was involved in that project. It's due in May on Paisley Pop. But if you want to hear four of those New Cars songs, you don't have to wait until May - they're streaming at his site. And my preliminary take on them (from listening once or twice) is that they're outstanding, and Powell does an expert job of sounding like Ric Ocasek. Collectively, they impress me more than "Not Tonight", which was pretty decent in its own right.
You'll have to click the "next track" button three or four times to get to the New Cars songs, but if you haven't heard the stuff from his other albums that's streaming, listen to those as well, including a selection from the great Swag album, a pop supergroup that included Powell, Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson, the Mavericks' Robert Reynolds, and ex-Wilco drummer Ken Coomer among others, as well as my favorite Powell track "Cul-de-Sac", from his Lost Chord album.
If you're looking to get into Powell after all of this, or just need to catch up, his two most recent proper solo albums (including The Lost Chord) can be found at eMusic here, as well as Swag's Catch-All.
(hat tip to Hersh Forman of the Audities list for bringing the Four Seasons release to attention)