When Pride of Lions decided to take a hiatus while Jim Peterik recorded a new World's Stage album, the band's vocalist, Toby Hitchcock decided to do the same. Teaming up with Swedish producer Daniel Flores for his second solo album, the American powerhouse vocalist shows his determination to make his mark on the modern AOR world. Prepare yourself for soaring vocals, air grabs and power chords.
From the fierce opener, No Surrender it's clear that Hitchcock and Flores are influenced by Peterik and other 80s rock stalwarts from Foreigner to Rainbow and of course Survivor. By the time we arrive at the obligatory ballad, Show Me How To Live, only three tracks in it's evident that we've pretty much heard it all before. There's undoubtedly comfort in the familiarity of the music, in the soft rock choruses, progressions and middle eights. It's retro all the way, with only the production tweaks giving it a sense of modernity.
The album may be imitating the classics when it comes to the songwriting, and that's something that will divide listeners, but Toby Hitchcock could sing the ingredients from a cereal box, and it would sound thunderous. He possesses the power, range and emotional depth of all the frontmen from the bands that inspired the record, and his talent is the real focus of the album.
Groupie rating 3/5