Jim Peterik has found success post-Survivor
by penning the material for Pride of Lions
, an awesome pompous-AOR act that has released two great studio albums thus far. Those expecting a rehash of either Survivor
or Pride will be really let down by this solo outing, however. If you go in hoping for something that can compete or even clash with the Jimi fronted "Reach", you will be absolutely crushed.
"Above the Storm"
has more in common with music from the 1970s and have been co-written by the Van Zants so that already shapes it up to be a world away from AOR. The songs on offer here have gospel-like choruses, "uplifting" or "inspirational" lyrical themes, and are so laid-back and folksy they could lull most any rock fan to sleep. Perhaps Pride of Lions
have just spoiled us, but this is so far from anything remotely like that that it is difficult to become adjusted to what exactly this album is all about. Which is 13 overstuffed songs of southern rock 70s style as if it was assaulted by easy-listening, radio pap, pop music. That could be a winning combination, if only the songs were interesting. But they are not, therefore leaving you with a disc chock full of boring rubbish.
Opening up the disc is "Live Life"
which summons enough cheddar cheese to choke someone to death. When the gospel-like background vocals kicked in, it just buried the song in a mountain of the absurd. The bluesy "Burning With a Reason"
is another serving of the same. Both songs mine the influences of the Eagles and other southern rock bands and attempt to touch upon that soulful heartbeat. The delivery though fails to do anything other than leave you wishing that something more interesting would happen. It is a shame that these are some of the best tracks. "At This Time of Night"
falls into the annoying category by heaping on the percussion to the irritation point.
In fact, the entire album follows suit, delivering stuff like "A Kiss to Remember You By"
that is rather lifeless. CPR is never administered so it remains unrevived and left for dead. "Talent For Loving You"
is equally unimpressive. In fact, none of the four ballads here are given proper treatment and Peterik's voice leaves no impact either. Peterik best coupled with hard rock tunes and doesn't fare as well when matched with softer material. This entire effort being a pop populated piece makes for a poor platform for his pipes and the songwriting is so uninspired it makes you want to search for the pulse of each song. Not that one can be found, and if so, it is very weak, like the music itself.
It is apparent that this is a very personal disc and is the road that he wanted to construct himself to walk down. That does not make it a great musical journey to embark on, or even one that the most rabid fans of Peterik would wish to revisit more than once or twice. The music embraces boredom or wallows in irritation by applying way too much percussion or organ, depending on the song. The lyrics are laughably sappy to boot.
If you want to see Jim at his best, give the Pride of Lions
a shot. He really is a talented songwriter, although you wouldn't have a clue if judging only by this "Above the Storm"
atrocity. And there's always that new Survivor
disc on the market...meaning there's no reason at all to waste money on this messy release.
Written by Alanna
Tuesday, May 23, 2006Show all reviews by AlannaRatingsAlanna: 3.5/10
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