For years, people have been recommending me to listen to Pride of Lions. And why shouldn’t I? Jim Peterik is one of the best song writers in AOR musics, with timeless Survivor classics such as to his credit that still stands as some of the best melodic rock tunes ever written, and together with lead singer Toby Hitchcock he has carried on the AOR torch for 17 years with Pride of Lions. But for some reason I’ve never gotten around to actually check this band out, so I reach out to their sixth album Lion Heart with great expectations!
Already in opening track Lion Heart, the hooks are in. This is definately not just another run of the mill Frontiers project, these guys know how to write songs, and you can really feel Peteriks touch on the melodies. And it goes on with more nice tunes such as Carry Me Back, Good Thing Gone and not least the shimmering Give It Away. I’m not as bewildered of Hichcocks voice, which sometimes feels like a slightly weaker John Wetton with a touch of autotune, but he works all right and you can tell he is a professional in how he always sings his melodies in a way that doesn’t just follow the chords, but walks its own paths. Still, there is something I miss in the end. It might be the production, that feels very standard and without any sorts of rough edges. I know AOR isn’t the toughest music genre, but that doesn’t mean it has to be too narrowed down either. It’s still rock ‘n’ roll music, so come on, stir things up a little!
From hearing Lion Heart, I can see that Peterik still knows how to put together some really good AOR-tunes. But I think he needs more powerful people around him to take them to the heavens where they really belong. This is a good and solid album and I absolutely feel a strong urge to hear more Pride of Lions releases. But I can also see the logic in why it has taken me this long to get in touch with their music.
Artist: Pride of Lions
Title: Lion Heart
Date of release: 9/10-20
Standout track: Lion Heart