Classic: Ambrosia, Road Island, 1982
Ambrosia, the seventies prog band that turned Westcoast AOR. But damn, they were good at both! Still, since my love for them started with this, their fifth album, it is only fair to talk a little about this ditty. Should you need references, think Toto, Player and a dash of Steely Dan. Because one of the good things of the album is them combining their strengths old and new on this album.
Opening with For Openers (Welcome Home), that shows traces of their roots with extended soloing, great hammond organ (throughout the album by the way) and of course the expert melodic vocals of David Pack. Still Not Satisfied would feel at home on any early Toto album, including a powerful groove and more great guitar playing. Kid No More is a shorter track that strangely keeps reminding me a bit of Gentle Giant, but that may be because of the quirky rhythm, the brass and the keyboard sounds. Feeling Alive Again is a ballad that about anyone would wish to have written, such is its power and delivery. Vocals harmonies galore! How Can You Love me is another melodic rock hit that never was to be. A bit of Christopher Cross here, but a great song it is, and should have been as big as Toto’s Hold The Line. Another special mention goes to Ice Age, with over 7 minutes the longest track on offer and a clear proof of how they were able to combine melody with intricate musical arrangements and intelligent song ideas.
While a lot of their albums were impossible to find, the great people of Rock Candy have made at least part of their catalogue available again and in impeccable remastering, so grab one!