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Articles Home » 2017 Articles » Pride Of Lions - 2017 Fearless
Pride Of Lions - 2017 Fearless

ARTIST: Pride Of Lions
ALBUM: Fearless
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Jim Peterik - vocals, guitar, keyboards * Toby Hitchcock - vocals * Ed Breckenfeld - drums * Klem Hayes - bass * Mike Aquino - guitar * Christian Cullen - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 All I See Is You * 02 The Tell * 03 In Caricature * 04 Silent Music * 05 Fearless * 06 Everlasting Love * 07 Freedom Of The Night * 08 The Light In Your Eyes * 09 Rising Up * 10 The Silence Says It All * 11 Faster Than A Prayer * 12 Unmasking The Mystery * 13 Everlasting Love (acoustic version)



Hard to believe that it has been 14 years since the first Pride Of Lions album way back in 2003. This is only their fifth album, so it's not like they've been overly prolific. But Jim Peterik has managed to gather the same crew from most of those albums (many who've played on all of them) for round 5. You can reasonably expect then, that the combination of the same songwriter, vocalists, musicians, and a less volatile AOR scene will result in more of the same. And if 'more of the same' means solid well-performed AOR that should appeal to many of us, well, that's what we get. I made a comment on the 2007 'The Roaring Of Dreams' album that I should love these guys, but something is holding me back. That something would be that Peterik tends to write lyrics that are a little too 'precious' at times (I can hear that in some Survivor songs too, to be honest), and Toby Hitchcock can overpower a song that longs for a more gentle approach. Has that changed any on this album?

The Songs
In this day and age, you don't have to wait for the entire album to be released to hear several songs from it. Four songs were early-released before I got a chance to hear this in its entirety, and it's pretty easy to digest one song at a time. So the first few listens are less 'how good are these songs' and more 'are the rest of the songs as good as what I've already heard?' Fortunately, I liked all of the early ones, and the rest of them fall into the same style. The two items I mentioned earlier are not as present to my ears as they were on earlier albums. Opener 'All I See Is You!' was an early one, and it gets the album off to an energetic start. The use of violin was something different, but it started working better after a couple of listens. And a proper video - with a hot girl - worked well. As with many of their songs, Peterik and Hitchcock trade lead vocals. While Hitchcock is clearly the stronger singer, Peterik holds his own. And on 'The Tell', Peterik handles lead vocals throughout. It works, mainly because the style of the song suits what Peterik can do well. This was the first song released, and it's one I really like. 'In Caricature' is typical POL, a fun uptempo tune with a Survivor-like groove. 'Silent Music' slows it down a bit for a great love song, with lyrics that do venture close to the sappy side. The anthemic 'Fearless' gets your heart racing. I think it has a bit of a Sammy Hagar vibe going for it.

At their best, POL can remind you of Survivor's 'Vital Signs' album, and the first ballad is 'Everlasting Love' does just that. Peterik handles lead vocals for 'Freedom Of The Night', a pretty good tune that would have benefitted IMHO with Hitchcock contributing a bit more. This brings us to the second ballad, a great one in 'The Light In Your Eyes'. In a better musical climate, this would be one played at high school dances to get the kids out on the floor. It stacks up well to the classics of yesteryear, with a superb vocal performance from Hitchcock. I have to credit the pacing of this album - Peterik knows how to make it flow. 'Rising Up' fits well at this point in the album, another anthem that is pretty solid. 'The Silence Says It All' and 'Faster Than A Prayer' are two more typical commercial-sounding POL tunes. The album closes with 'Unmasking The Mystery', which is the type of song that may be overrepresented on their earlier albums but works well when it's the only one of its type.

In Summary
These guys have been around long enough for you to know whether you like them. I have thought the earlier albums were a pretty equal mixture of elements of Survivor and Styx. But I think the ratio has moved more towards Survivor with this one - more straight-forward AOR with less pomp. The real test for me is how often I reach for an album, and this one has remained in heavy rotation for several weeks. I've played it more than all their other albums combined if I take out 'The Roaring Of Dreams' (that got a lot of play ten years ago), so it obviously passes that test. If you're a fan, this certainly won't disappoint.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 03 2017 04:37:17
Pride Of Lions - 2017 All I See Is You

YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on April 03 2017 04:48:36
The video is a bit cheesy, but the female model is very cute.
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