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Toby Hitchcock - Reckoning Award winner

Toby Hitchcock
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 16 March 2019, 7:32 AM

Some musical genres are timeless, and they will never die. The main reason is that they are always evolving to fit in the present, never denying what was already done, and guiding the fans to a bright future. That’s the case of AOR (that is being called Melodic Rock on the last years). The genre has been alive since the 70’s, and even after the Alternative Rock/Grunge plague in the 90’s, it’s alive and healthy, and great works of the genre are still being released. And “Reckoning”, the new solo album from the American singer TOBY HITCHCOCK is an amazing surprise.

Toby was discovered by the legendary musician/writer Jim Peterik (the same one from SURVIVOR and co-writer of the theme song for “Rocky III” film, “Eye of the Tiger”) on PRIDE OF LIONS. And this album is the purest form of AOR, with those accessible melodies, great choruses, the predominance of keyboards instead of guitars, a solid work on bass guitar and drums, but the vocals are amazing. And the union of such talented musicians created a fine masterpiece of the genre, and it’s hard to not sing along each chorus of the album. AOR/Melodic Rock is a kind of musical genre that demands a clean sound quality, and that’s what you’ll find on “Reckoning”. Yes, it was worked in a way that all things are sounding as they must and with the right instrumental tunes, creating an excellent musical ambience that will embrace the listener.

“No Surrender” is a typical and anthemic song for the opening of an AOR album: powerful, melodic and catchy to its core, with amazing vocals and chorus, and these are the elements that can be found as well on the tender “Promise Me”; “Show Me How to Live” is that kind of Power Ballad that would conquer the radios in the 80’s, with charming pianos and keyboards arrangements; the heavy weight touch on the guitars of “Behind the Lies”; the amazing catching harmonies of “Fighting for My Life”; the 80s Pop Rock touch that “Serenity” bears (due the charming chorus and backing vocals), and… Wait a moment! The album is truly amazing from the first to the last song, none of them can be left out of a “best moments” list, so hear the album from the beginning to the last second possible, even the acoustic version for “Show Me How to Live”.

The future is not written. So, let’s hope that Toby will not release only “Reckoning” as a solo album, but keep on releasing solo works from here. All who hear it will ask for more!

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. No Surrender
2. Promise Me
3. Show Me How to Live
4. Behind the Lies
5. Fighting for My Life
6. Serenity
7. Queen Untouchable
8. Gift of Flight
9. Don’t Leave
10. This is Our World
11. Someone Like You
Toby Hitchcock - Vocals
Daniel Flores - Keyboards, Drums
Michael Palace - Guitars, Bass
Yngve “Vinnie” Strömberg - Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL


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