Jack Pack became internationally famous after competing on the 2014 series of where they finished in fourth place. Following the end of the show, the four piece were signed by Simon Cowell to his Syco Music label and founding member Adam Chandler left the band following personal legal issues. He was replaced by Martin McCafferty and earlier this year the band’s self-titled debut album was due to be released following a triumphant performance of Light My Fire on the 2015 series of Britain’s Got Talent. The album was eventually pushed back but it’s finally arrived so fans can get their hands on it.
Anyone who saw Jack Pack on Britain’s Got Talent will know what to expect from this debut effort. The boys became popular for their Rat Pack / Big Band sound so for their album they’ve recorded a number of classics that are sure to sell well through the run-up to Christmas. The album opens with the band’s cover of The Doors’ classic Light My Fire, a song that was a big hit for the original reality show winner Will Young.
You’ll likely know most of the tracks on the album. The choices here are pretty safe but they suit the style of the band and their voices sound great. The dramatic I Put a Spell on You is an early highlight with its soaring strings and atmospheric instrumentation during the verses, Simon Cowell favourite Mack the Knife breezes by pleasingly, and Stay With Me Baby is given a contemporary refresh with strong vocals and harmonies.
The record contains one previously unrecorded Randy Newman song called Forever. The song fits perfectly on the record and it’s one of the highlights without a doubt. It sounds timeless and as it’s never been recorded before it allows them to really establish their own sound.
One of the biggest surprises on the album is Jack Pack’s swing cover of One Direction’s Story of My Life. They actually pull off the unlikely feat and the song sounds great with this big band revamp. The album comes to a close with the predictable My Way, which has been recorded so many times that we’re not overly bothered by this version.
Jack Pack is a confident but safe debut album for the four-piece. It’s clearly designed to cash in on the Big Band sound that always sells so well around Christmas. The four members have superb voices and they have put their own stamp on this collection of songs. We’ll be interested to see where they go from here and we’re not sure The Overtones need to worry about Jack Pack nipping at their heels just yet.