Published on November 22nd, 2020 | by Justin G.
Pride Of Lions: Lion Heart (Frontiers, 2020)
AOR group Pride Of Lions returned this year with a new album titled Lion Heart. Pride Of Lions is, of course, the collaboration between former Survivor guitarist/songwriter Jim Peterik and vocalist Toby Hitchcock, so Lion Heart is as close to a new Survivor album as we’re ever going to get these days.
From the very start, Pride Of Lions has had a very clear formula: upbeat melodic rock songs and sappy love songs that fit squarely in that classic Survivor mold. That hasn’t changed at all after six albums, so there’s a certain familiar comfort as soon as you press play on Lion Heart. You’re getting the same kind of AOR you got back in 2003 when Pride Of Lions debuted. Of course the downside here is what sounded so nostalgic back then seems pretty routine now. There’s nothing wrong with these twelve new songs, but there’s nothing terribly exciting about them either.
“Carry Me Back” and “Lion Heart” are the early singles from the album, and they do a good job giving you a feel for Lion Heart’s overall sound and tone. “Sleeping With A Memory” and “Good Thing Gone” are two of the album’s better songs, while the lyrically cheesy “Rock & Roll Boom Town” probably shouldn’t have made the cut.
There are some enjoyable melodies on Lion Heart, and of course Toby Hitchcock’s vocals are impressive, but the album doesn’t have much staying power, and certainly doesn’t stand up to some of the better recent releases from Work Of Art, Houston, Lionville and Khymera. By all means give it a try if you’re a Pride Of Lions/Toby Hitchcock/Survivor fan, but this is one you’ll want to stream before you buy.
Summary: Solid, but predictable, AOR