Pride Of Lions - Lion Heart

Pride Of Lions – Lion Heart

84 / 100

In the case of Pride Of Lions, some things never change, and in the final wash up this should make my 2020 Top 10 with a degree of comfort.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Pride Of Lions
ALBUM: Lion Heart
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2020

LINEUP: Jim Peterik – lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion * Toby Hitchcock – lead and backing vocals * Mike Aquino – lead, rhythm guitar * Christian Cullen – synths, programming * Klem Hayes – bass * Ed Breckenfeld – drums, percussion

Additional Musicians: Colin Peterik – drums (#1) * Kevin Campbell – Bass (#1)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lion Heart * 02 We Play For Free * 03 Heart Of The Warrior * 04 Carry Me Back * 05 Sleeping With A Memory * 06 Good Thing Gone * 07 Unfinished Heart * 08 Flagship * 09 Give It Away * 10 Rock And Roll Boomtown * 11 You’re Not A Prisoner * 12 Now * 13 Unfinished Heart (Acoustic, Japanese Bonus)

RATING: 90/100


The continuation of review articles for Chicago band Pride Of Lions is upheld here at Glory Daze yet again. We’ve covered all their albums, most of them have been high quality releases since their 2003 debut. Goodness, has it been that long?

Both Toby and Jim have detoured off the POL pathway on occasion over the last few decades with solo projects and the like, but when they resume a certain level of excitement is generated. If you’re familiar with the POL music model then ‘Lion Heart’ won’t offer you any surprises.

The Songs

Both Peterik and Hitchcock approach their songwriting with themes of hope, faith, trust and empowerment. A track like ‘Lion Heart’ embodies all these virtues. Check out the synth stabs on ‘We Play For Free’. OMG a classic 80’s synth motif if I’ve ever heard. Fans of Dave Bickler era Survivor will enjoy this. Super track.

Another anthem ‘Heart Of The Warrior’ is delivered with more messages of hope, fight and fearlessness. Yes, we need a lot of these warriors in 2020. Fans of the 80’s will enjoy ‘Carry Me Back’ as the clock is wound back to 1983 with memories and reflections reminisced of a time gone by. Beautiful twinkly synths preface ‘Sleeping With A Memory’. It’s similar to the previous track from a lyrical angle, and yes some people do have problems letting go of things. It’s human nature.

POL rock out on ‘Good Thing Gone’, where once the girl was a good thing going, until she became a good thing gone. Cool lyrics BTW. With a title like ‘Unfinished Heart’ you can guess that this is a ballad. Well done, top of the class. If there is one guy that can turn a ballad into something magical it’s Toby Hitchcock, and this track just adds to his impressive ballad portfolio.

‘Flagship’ is the track that differs lyrically, you have to dig deep to understand what it’s about. The flagship (a person more than likely) being the safe haven and beacon for those caught up in undesirable circumstances. ‘Give It Away’ is guaranteed AOR from a prior decade, the melodies and chorus have probably been heard on countless albums before this.

‘Rock And Roll Boomtown’ is a tribute to El-Lay and Hollywood, with a lot of geographical references thrown in for good measure. ‘You’re Not A Prisoner’ is played in the style of a semi-dramatic anthem, while the album finale is the slow burning ‘Now’. It’s not quite a ballad, the grunty guitar solo through the middle puts paid to that.

In Summary

On ‘Lion Heart’ the vocals are shared equally and as a result this has a more balanced feel. Even though Toby probably has the stronger vocal, the songs have been written to take advantage of both their strengths. All of the POL albums have their excellent moments. It’s a tough ask to sit through their back-catalogue to both listen to everything and then cherry pick.

Honestly you couldn’t do any worse than play this album and leave it at that. It really is that good. Maybe I’m biased lol. In the final wash up this should make my 2020 Top 10 with a degree of comfort a few weeks out from the end of the year. In the case of Pride Of Lions, some things never change.


Lion Heart

Pride Of Lions (Jim Peterik & Toby Hitchcock) - "Lion Heart" - Lyric Video

Carry Me Back
Pride Of Lions (Jim Peterik & Toby Hitchcock) - "Carry Me Back" - Official Video

We Play For Free
We Play for Free


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