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Mark Lane, Golden State of Mind (Orange Deuce)
Mark Lane might be known more for whom he has associated with than his own music. The singer was a member of The Hoodwinks with Troy Van Leeuwen, a member of Perfect Circle and Queens of The Stone Age. But this record is more along the lines of melodic singer-songwriter California pop. Influenced by The Beach Boys and The Beatles, especially on "The Chance", Lane opens with "Girl With the Clouds", a tune that recalls Tom Petty circa Wildflowers. Lane, who does most of the instrumentation himself, keeps the flow with more of a pop rock effort on the fine "Drivin' Braille". Lane, who is currently working on a follow up to this record, seems to slow it down with "The One You Waited For" that brings to mind Josh Rouse or Jason Mraz. Lane also brings a lot of dreamy, late Elliott Smith remnants to the record, particularly on the ambling "Fifty Years Too Late". One surprise highlight is the cheesy organ solo the kicks off "Taste For Champagne", a slightly raunchy bar pop tune. Lighter, reflective tunes such s "Lorelei" isn't too over-the-top, although the strings here seem a bit much. Generally though, there is just enough quality material to make it an enjoyable listen, particularly on the lounge-lizard-like "Enough to Go Around" or somber "Ring My Bell".