Mike Tramp – The Songs of White Lion (Album Review)

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Mike Tramp – The Songs of White Lion (Album Review)

The decision to revisit the past is never an easy choice. There are many pitfalls, and they often invite the ire of both stubborn fans and internet trolls. Beck, Manowar, Natalie Merchant, Black Veil Brides, St. Ask Vincent, Suicidal Tendencies, and the endless list of other artists who have somehow reimagined old material years after its debut. YouTube comments alone are enough to warrant a dose of Ativan.

Understandably, for venerable Hard Rock vocalist and guitarist Mike Tramp, the decision to return to his White Lion roots was not simple. For me, the period 1983-1991 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. . . When it came to an end, it was more than the end of a band, it was also the end of a very special time in my life. . . Over the next 20 years, I would revisit that time in my life in small chunks, but I never felt 100% comfortable about it. I couldn’t force myself to recreate what I once was. I confessed

Yet the idea has sown a seed that has recently blossomed and set a new record. Released on April 14, 2023, thanks to Frontiers Music srl, Songs of the White Lion sees the talented musician reimagine some of his former band’s best and brightest offerings, from mega hits “When the Children Cry” and “Wait” to deeper fiction like “All the Fallen Men” and “Lady of the Valley.” A respectful tribute to the Hard Rock quartet that formed in 1983 and then continued to distribute four studio collections – the 1985s. Fight to Survive1987s pride1989’s big gameand the 1991s mane charm— Before disbanding in 1992.

For the Tramp, the end of White Lion was the beginning of a long career that allowed the multi-talented musician to embrace being a solo artist. Of course, the volatilities in the White Lion world have certainly occurred over the years, so, Songs of the White Lion It shouldn’t come as a big shock to long-time fans. Heavily influenced by its creator’s own candid and humble Rock-n-Roll brand, the album is a tribute to the past. Produced with longtime collaborator Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, The Dead Daisies), this film is a testament to the maturity of the artist who, in his twenties, always had time to wait in the world—love, life, and day. when he will comfortably settle in his own creative niche.

Appropriately, there is a deliberate simplicity to the 12-song collection. While some artists take their old material and make it zhuzh beyond recognition, Tramp lets each song be its own guide, embellishing each new record with something that feels organic to the artist he’s turned into. Similarly, it’s a compliment to their bandmates (Guitarist Marcus Nand, Bassist Claus Langeskov, Drummer Alan Tschicaja, Keyboardist Sebastian Groset and Supporting Vocalist Christoffer Stjerne) that their loving performances of the material never fall into the cover band’s realm.

So, it’s not really a big surprise Songs of the White Lion As an artist, he proudly combines Mike Tramp’s impeccable soundscape with guitar-linked rock and acoustic storytelling. And he raises the bar by starting the record with “Lady of the Valley,” a reimagining that only kills its predecessor in terms of quality. Of course, purists tend to cling to the original’s towering guitars, but Nand proudly crafts Vito Bratta’s original carvings with his precise reinterpretation. Not to be overlooked, our “mane appeal” has also grown in her vocal approach and range, reaching new heights adding more emotional texture to the tracks she originally made famous in the ’80s and early ’90s.

Let’s take “Broken Heart”, where the depth of emotion reaches even greater heights and attracts more, because the undeniable truth is that no matter how you slice it or what year you release it, a good song is still a good song. This is true of many of the White Lion hits that appear in it, from “Scream for Freedom” to “All the Fallen Men.” And what kid from the ’80s doesn’t remember “Little Fighter”? Although in this singular example the fresh-faced energy of the original, its flaws and all, it has that abstract something that the mature and balanced remake lacks. Maybe it’s childlike innocence. Whatever the case, the original is truly a moment that cannot be recaptured. And no problem! Because pieces like “Love Don’t Come Easy” take on a new meaning here, allowing Tramp to embrace every word with the authenticity of a man who lived, loved and lost.

Understandably, the key moments for many fans will be “Wait” and “When the Kids Cry”, each of which are prime examples of the White Lion catalog. For the first, there’s a renewed focus on the lyrics, the aspirations, and begging that every listener can feel resonating in their bones, without leather and fringe, high-key lighting and sarcastic hair. But the most precious gem of this collection is the latter, just as emotionally raw and devastatingly beautiful as when it first graced MTV and radio more than three decades ago.

Finally, what shines on it Songs of the White Lion It’s the fact that Tramp has always been a transcendent storyteller with a solid understanding of the world he composes. Even in his twenties, his failure to focus on banal sexual overtones or unassuming clichés has made his music stand the test of time. The record is testament to a songwriter whose career took a full turn in the ’80s, who saw a songwriter ahead of his time transform into a successful musician who casually combined genres to capture originality, sincerity, and songs that will always find a home. Your heart. For this Cryptic Rock, Mike Tramp’s Songs of the White Lion 4 stars out of 5.

Mike Tramp – Songs of the White Lion / Frontiers Music srl (2023)

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