Before he became an A-list Hollywood film composer in the 1980s, Randy Edelman made a dozen albums in the ‘70s and early ‘80s as a singer/songwriter, and he returns to that approach on 2011's The Pacific Flow to Abbey Road, his first solo album as a performer in over 20 years. (The title appears to refer to the association between his West Coast home and the studio where the disc was cut.) Anyone who remembers Edelman's best-known pop song, "Weekend in New England," a Top Ten hit for Barry Manilow, will recognize the songwriter's style. He plays the piano with classically influenced dexterity, carefully intoning his well-crafted lyrics, which touch on matters romantic and philosophical. The lead-off track and single "If I Could Do That" is a sensitive ballad, while "Walkin' on the Streets of London" is a mature man's reflection on the current state of the world, with globalization and technological advances. "Miracle in New Orleans" is a story song about the rescue of an infant during Hurricane Katrina, and "Úbeda City" is a recollection of a particularly memorable concert appearance in that Spanish municipality. Edelman adds strings here, a saxophone there, and even gives "Little Pebble" an island lilt. But for the most part, it's him and his piano, and he sings in a thin tenor that is often reminiscent of the Eagles' Glenn Frey. By now, being a singer/songwriter is a moonlighting gig for him, and The Pacific Flow to Abbey Road does not suggest he ought to give up his day job any time soon, though it may be of interest to music fans who like to follow the performing careers of the likes of similar figures such as Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann