Pride of Lions’ singer, Toby Hitchcock, releases his first solo album and he absolutely takes us not only by surprise but by storm with the quality of the material. I knew already what a great vocalist Hitchcock is (after all, Jim Peterik is a connoisseur, isn’t he?). I was also aware of the fact that he had chosen to collaborate with Eric Martensson (producer of Eclipse, W.E.T.) and that could only be a right decision. But, surely, the one thing that I didn’t expect from Toby Hitchcock is to come up with such a brilliant and flawless record!
What we get in “Mercury’s Down” is a bunch of AOR dynamites with the guitar riffs blending wonderfully with the essential keyboard sound. In comparison with Hitchcock’s past efforts with Pride of Lions, I must say that the big difference is that now the singer uses his voice in a more mature way without any exaggerations whatsoever. Hitchcock’s voice is the absolute high point of the album and quite rightfully the spotlights turns to him…this is, after all, his solo record.
The opening track “This is the Moment” (there is also a video-clip for it) sets the tone for what we are about to receive; an anti-love song, a soul deposition by Hitchcock that portrays the inner strength that everyone hides. The title track and “Let Go” follows in the same path and they are absolute AOR gems. To make a long story short…“Mercury’s Down” can already be considered as a top AOR release of 2011. Don’t just check it out…go out there and buy it!
Highlight: Frontiers Records hit the bull’s eye with the three excellent consecutive albums: House of Lords, Robin Beck and now Toby Hitchcock.