Employing a variety of funk textures, mostly sweet-toned guitar leads and a generally sunny outlook, Doc Powell’s Life Changes recalls the blissful pop R&B of the ’70s. Heck, Powell even employs some of the classic purveyors of the period, including keyboardist Billy Preston, to drive the point home. The homage is evident immediately, as sly, sidling bass meets a pillow of synth on the album’s title track. The nostalgic tendencies range from heady (“It’s a Guitar Thang,” featuring Preston on biting Hammond B-3) to syrupy (“Yours Unconditionally,” marked by whistling-wind sounds and a lovely guitar melody by Powell) to fun (the doo-wop flavored, swinging “For the Soul in You”). However, some of the standout tracks here are departures. Powell takes on mute-horn, cityscape intrigue on “New Blues,” and a darker, funkier groove box in “I Know That’s Right,” a sparsely arranged, jumping bass gem which gives the guitarist a great jumping-off point for future excursions.