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Pride of Lions - Lion Heart

Pride of Lions
Lion Heart
by Neil Cook at 14 December 2020, 1:39 PM

PRIDE OF LIONS is essentially Jim Peterik and Toby Hitchcock’s AOR vehicle. Toby is a vocal powerhouse in the mold of Lou Gramm and Bobby Kimball, powerful voice that drips honey with every note, and Jim co-wrote Eye Of The frickin Tiger, and practically could have played every instrument on the album.  Oh and is no mean singer himself.  The pair double team the vocals, and complement each other.  Plus his purple barnet, amazing axes, shades and sparkly outfits, the man is a legend!

Stylistically the album is very much the love child of the 80’s.  As “Carry Me Back”, on of the albums most infectious upbeat tunes states “carry me back to the lights of the city. The long hot summer back in 83” in its chorus, this is an unashamed time capsule to another time. And this is both the blessing and the curse of this collection.  The upbeat songs are straight out of the summers of those of us who were teenagers in that decade. The ballads are bombastic, the riffs soaring, the keys swell and lush.  The production is slick and the groove is smooth.

But at times it is a bit too saccharine, a bit too cheesy, a bit too overblown, a bit too 80’s. A bit, but then in one way it is supposed to be. From the opening, title track “Lion Heart” , we get the slick rock, some great guitar and vocals from both voices, but we also get some very on the nose lyrics. There really isn’t a bad track on the album, but it does feel a tad too long, losing two or three songs would not have hurt.  I could have done without “We Play For Free”, which sounds like an early BON JOVI knock off, and “Flagship” for example.

On the Plus side though “Carry Me Back” is a great trip back to the past.  “Give It Away” is an up-tempo AOR banger, and the ballads “Unfinished Heart” and losing track “Now” are properly overblown and bombastic heart string pullers.  You can imagine the see of phone torches (back in the day would have been lighters), waving proud.

If 80’s AOR, Pomp Rock is your thing, then this is for you.  It is overall a satisfying listen, as I mention a tad too long, less would have been more.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1.  Lion Heart
2.  We Play For Free
3.  Heart Of The Warrior
4.  Carry Me Back
5.  Sleeping With A Memory
6.  Good Thing Gone
7.  Unfinished Heart
8.  Give It Away
9.  Flagship
10. Rock & Roll Boomtown
11. You’re Not A Prisoner
12. Now
Toby Hitchcock -lead vocals
Jim Peterik -lead vocals, background vocals, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitar, percussion.
Ed Breckenfeld - Drums and percussion
Klem Hayes - Bass
Mike Aquino - Lead and rhythm guitar.
Colin Peterik - Drums on Lion Heart
Kevin Campb ll - Bass on Lion Heart.
Christian Mathew Cullen - Synths & Programming
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 07 December 2022

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