David Pack’s past affiliation with the romantipop of Ambrosia from the late 70s and early 80s yielded several classic Top 40 hits that include “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman.” Ambrosia pumped some 6 hits into the pop mainstream before disappearing from sight around 1983.
On Pack’s latest effort, The Secret of Movin’ On, he brings the same elements that made Ambrosia a success to his songs and does so with a surprising sharpness and skill. His 11 songs to this new release include two re-recordings of the previously mentioned Ambrosia classics, a practice that doesn’t always fare well for the original hit. However, his new renditions of his earlier songs are not found wanting on this album. Instead “The Biggest Part Of Me” ages well in this update with Pack’s vocals as conditioned as they were back then. The same is said of his other “borrowed” track, “You’re the Only Woman.” They fit well into the Adult Contemporary market and could be hits again – if someone takes advantage. It worked for Seals and Crofts’ re-released remix, “Summer Breeze,” which hung in the AC Top 40 for quite a few weeks.
The rest of the album also unearths some nuggets with notable guest artists, one of them the incomparable Steve Perry (Journey), who co-produced with Pack, “A Brand New Start.” Perry’s contribution to this ballad, which is reminiscent of Journey’s “When You Love a Woman”, in style, is background but Perry’s vocal is easily recognizable, still strong, and begs a re-emergence of the reclusive artist, even if into AC markets.
Ann Wilson of Heart contributes to the title track, “The Secret of Movin’ On (Travelin’ Light) in a pleasant pop tune that highlights her beautiful vocal talent (I’d love to hear solo work from Ann),” Dewey Bunnell of America helps with a bluesy “Tell Her Goodbye,” and Timothy B Schmidt (Eagles) assists with “Where We Started From,” an Ambrosia styled track. David Benoit provides his usual with keyboards while Eric Mereinthal plays saxophone on the jazz-blues-sounding “Think of U (Song 4 Kaitlyn).”
The rest of the album is David Pack without the guest invitations. The final song on this work is a very good, 80s-styled jazz-pop instrumental called “ Elizabeth” that is enjoyable. This is a strong effort by David Pack and represents the kind of belief that ‘once good, always good;’ you just have to have determination to produce the kind of music necessary, the faith to make it all work together, and the patience to make sure that the selection is of top-notch quality. The aptly titled The Secret of Movin’ On is a solid work of Adult Contemporary music and should provide Ambrosia fans, Pack fans, and new fans alike with replay value.
© MusicTap, 08/03/05