We haven't heard from White Lion since 1991's 'Mane Attraction.' Lead vocalist Mike Tramp regrouped the band with a bunch of unknown European players in the recent past. Essientially and positively, the new White Lion is Mr. Tramp's band, plain and simple. So what's new? This is not the White Lion of history. It took me several spins to get my head around 'Return Of The Pride.' At first it seemed slow and plodding. But after the third take, I found 'Return Of The Pride' to be interesting, but nothing extra special.
The album begins with a lengthy opener, 'Sangre De Cristo,' a significant diatribe against organized religion in general and Christianity specifically. Tramp has explored religious themes before, so this is not unexpected. His conclusion is that his religion is own self-idolatry. Yet, despite his opinions, this song has some of the best music on the entire work. From here we venture into general melodic rock which is, more or less, ordinary if not derivative. This is not to say that there are no noteworthy or strong numbers on the album. 'Live Your Life' is a fine upbeat rocker with strong vocals and great guitar work. 'Gonna Do It My Way' strikes the same chord nearing a Bon Jovi style. Then there is satisfying and emotional rocking ballad, 'I Will.' 'Never Let You Go' is a fine, more traditional ballad. 'Battle At Little Big Horn' pretends to be an epic, but left me disappointed.
In the end, 'Return Of The Pride' is an enjoyable album and a positive accomplishment for Mr. Tramp. There's a lot of good music on this work that takes some time to appreciate it. If you're a fan, you will not be disappointed in the least. Let's look forward to more from White Lion. Recommended.
- Craig Hartranft
Original vocalist Mike Tramp resurrects White Lion for a new century with 'Return Of The Pride.' This is a good album of melodic hard rock and Tramp has never sounded better. There's a lot to enjoy on this album, althought it may seem ordinary at times to some.
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