The title track of Jack Phillips first album in ten years, “To Whom It May Concern”, is reminiscent of the 1989 duet by Cher and Peter Cetera, “After All”, from the film Chances Are. Phillips earlier Revival Time release in 2000 was under the name John R. Phillips, and the new moniker comes along with his new approach.
With material more uplifting, “Winter Keeps Us Warm” is driving pop, something that – believe it or not – the Doobie Brothers and Kenny Rogers could cover… in fact, Kenny should cover it, backed up by The Doobies. Everything here is over three minutes and under five, and the authoritative handle exhibited on the opening track, “I Can’t See”, shows much promise – promise the artist fulfills on this intriguing new collection of material.
A decade in between releases is quite a time to ponder and meditate upon your next move, lyricist James Russell giving his perspective on songs like “I’m Movin’ Out”, the quasi-disco “The Trip Will Make You Well” (as if Giorgio Moroder decided to leave the soundtrack world for albums again) and “Motherlode”. The album has different facets, “The Next Thing We Knew” sounding like vintage Ronnie Milsap while “Bright One” bridges pop and country in a refreshing way. Perfect for Top 40 radio of both genres.
A triumphant return for Phillips and here’s hoping he generates more new music soon… without waiting another decade to do so.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.