Label: Target Records
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
White Lion were one of my absolute favourite bands back in the day. When the band broke up, I kept following vocalist Mike Tramp's career with Freak Of Nature and later as a solo artist, all the way to the questionable White Lion rebirth. Somehow I've lost track of his solo stuff after that. I've been vaguely aware that he's released several solo albums during the last ten years, but I haven't really tracked any of them down. So, although all songs on this album have been previously recorded on the "Rock'n Roll Circuz" album, they're all new to me.
Mike Tramp the solo artist doesn't sound like White Lion or Freak Of Nature, both products of their time. Tramp's solo material could be described as timeless guitar-driven melodic rock. These songs could have been recorded anytime during the last 40 years, there aren't any real telltale signs of when they were written or recorded. What's more, the years have been kind to Tramp's voice and he sings with passion. The heavy metal wails may be history but instead we get a Springsteen'ish storyteller.
There are some highlights I want to mention. The opener "All Of My Life" is an excellent uptempo pop-rock track which reminds me of vintage Bryan Adams, while "Back To You" goes back to the 70'ies or early 80'ies. The same goes for "Between Good And Bad" which mixes The Who with Thin Lizzy. There's even a touch of White Lion in the chorus, I think. The duo of road songs, "Highway" and "The Road", both have a bit of a Springsteen vibe, the latter especially. Someone cynical might say that Tramp has tried to re-write White Lion's biggest hit "When The Children Cry" when it comes to the album's ballad "When She Cries", but despite the title and the song's acoustic nature, it is a more personal story, and a very touching one at that.
A few somewhat average songs bring down the rating a notch, but still, it's nice to get reacquainted with one of my heroes from the past.