Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Toby Hitchcock “Mercury’s Down”

AOR/Melodic Rock
Fans of the melodic rock community should be no stranger to the talent of Indiana native Toby Hitchcock, who was one half Pride of Lions (for the uninitiated, Jim Peterik of Survivor fame constituted the other half). Hitchcock has now partnered with another budding AOR legend, Erik Martensson, who wrote, produced, and played on the “Mercury’s Down” album. Hitchcock’s powerhouse vocals are often compared to Bobby Kimball (Toto), Jimi Jamison (Survivor), or Lou Gramm (Foreigner), and are easily the biggest highlight of this release. The combination of his voice with the AOR instincts of Martensson makes for quite the dynamic duo. True to the genre, Hitchcock belts out songs with straightforward lyrics about love and encouragement.

While still maintaining a keen sense of melody, this project is heavier and more guitar-driven than Hitchcock’s previous work. Favorites on this record include the huge anthem “Strong Enough”, “How To Stop”, “I Should Have Said”, and the thunderous “Tear Down The Barricades “. While there are no shortage of jaw-dropping notes that Hitchcock nails, “How To Stop” features some of his most amazing moments. Unlike most AOR records, the album is not plagued by too many slow songs, but there is a monster power ballad in “One Day I’ll Stop Loving You”. The record seems to get heavier towards the end, closing with the blistering rocker that serves as the title track.

“Mercury’s Down” should easily please fans of Pride of Lions, Eclipse, or Journey – it’s a great AOR soundtrack to ease us into autumn.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12

Toby HitchcockFacebook

Check out the video for first single, “This Is The Moment”

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