Pride

White Lion

Pride covers the entire spectrum, from the slow balladry of When the Children Cry, to the upbeat rockin' hit found in Wait. White Lion really defines their signature sound on Pride, a sound that starts heavy, trucking toward the chorus, lightens a bit in the pre-chorus, goes full blown hero in the chorus, then ensnares us in acoustic emotion, before unleashing wailing guitars and closing out the song. Yeah, that.

Pride: Hungry for Rock ‘n’ Roll? Wait no further as White Lion gives you sweet little loving

Also, love love love the Lion motif in album titling and artwork. They really knew how to lean in to a theme.

Rating White Lion’s Pride

I give Pride a 7.510

White Lion, mostly supported by Vito Bratta’s excellent guitar work and Mike Tramp’s fantastic vocal quality, gives us an album with some seriously good rock tunes, even if a few aren’t exactly commercial hit material.

White Lion Pride Song/Track listing

  1. Hungry
  2. Lonely Nights
  3. Don’t Give Up
  4. Sweet Little Loving
  5. Lady of the Valley
  6. Wait
  7. All You Need Is Rock ‘n’ Roll
  8. Tell Me
  9. All Join Our Hands
  10. When the Children Cry

Pride notes

Hungry

Hungry kicks Pride off right away. Deep, crunchy riff with great fills. Basic, but huge chorus. This is how you do basic lyrics … you do them loud and powerful. Vitto Bratta is given carte blanche to run amok on Hungry.

Whoa, nice transition, easing off the gas a bit before roaring into the solo. Bratta’s got a bit of a buckin’ bronco attitude and I gotta say, it absolutely works here. James Lomenzo and Greg D’Angelo keep up admirably. Musically, Hungry brings the wood.

Lonely Nights

Vito must have been a janitor at the riff factory. Guy has a knack for changing up the tunes pretty solidly. Tramp has a great 80s hair metal voice, and it is layered squarely across Lonely Nights.

White Lion acoustic part. It’s like Def Leppard choruses, White Lion has a signature move - to go to the wooden six string. Loney Nights had to have been influenced by Pyromania.

Don’t Give Up

Occassionally, White Lion falls into the trap of rewriting a song. Don’t Give Up is definitely in that family tree. I like it, but it’s to imagine that I am unboxing a fresh track.

Key change! I’m such a sucker for them. Key changes are like outfielders throwing baserunners out as they advance. It always a pleasure.

Sweet Little Loving

Lomenzo gets a little bass featurette to start Sweet Little Loving. Not a ballad, but a track 4 song about a girl. Saw that coming.

White Lion is totally employing the hey babe riff on this one. Employing the hey babe lyrics too.

Vitto Bratta is underrated. There, I said it.

An emphasis chorus! Love those. You know the type, they pull the instrumentation back, toss on some extra vocal effects, etc. etc.

Someone is getting sweet little loving tonight … and it’s all because of the emphasis chorus.

Lady of the Valley

Lady of the Valley covers a lot of sonic ground before the end of minute one. Good employment of stops and parts that build into others. Bratta had some decent chops.

White Lion LOVES to go to clean arpeggiated guitar. Wow, this tune really pieces together a ton of fun parts. Though it fades out, the song punches it’s way to the final bell.

Wait

D’Angelo performs the basic, progressively heavier drum intro to let you know that Wait is going to be super badass. Bitchin’ tune for sure.

Color me confused. They never had a chance to love her, but they only want to say I love you one more time?! Mike Tramp is Danish, maybe it’s a translation thing? Like how “me gusta” is “this pleases me” and not “I like it”. Or something like that … then I found five bucks.

Also, the video solo sounds different than the album. Gonna have to investigate.

Tramp really throws some bossy britches looks at the camera in the video.

All You Need Is Rock ‘n’ Roll

Hand claps. Always a tasteful choice. Interesting acoustic blues intro. Nice drunken crowd noises layered on top of the hand clap/blues nacho plate.

Holy 0:53 seconds rock! This is some tasty hair metal. All I need is more All You Need Is Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Nice Ohhhs and Whoas. Bratta killin’ it across the tune. Did we get a pickup selector switch during the solo? Trying to decipher. Pick scrapes add unnecessary (but totally necessary) grit.

Excellent whammy bar work to end All You Need Is Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Wait, it’s not quite over. A return to the blues bar beginning. Damn, this is one bitchin’ tune.

Tell Me

YES! Drums and OHHHHHHHs. Good to give D’Angelo some air time. Power meter rising.

Big power chorus … Tell Me Baby!

Why doesn’t Vito Bratta get more press? Is it because White Lion only wrote a few hits? And at that, one of them was When The Children Cry, a slow, semi-sad ballad that possessed some level of actual depth?

All Join Our Hands

Whoa! Like, a Keanu Whoa! Wasn’t expected a harsh penultimate track here in All Join Our Hands.

Ok, good, back to the happier White Lion sound in the pre-chorus. Some grade school lyric writing for the chorus. Hey, it’s the 80s!

Good melody lines in the verse though.

HUGE power moves at 3:30 by the whole band, from Tramp and Bratta to Lomenzo and D’Angelo. They are reallllllly setting up When the Children Cry …

When the Children Cry

A song by an 80s hair metal band with actual gravitas. No strangers to compassion, having written Little Fighter (well, post Pride), White Lion writes a song that retains equal poignance 21 years later.

Interesting that Mr. Big (Lean In To It) and White Lion both have super huge slow hits to end their albums.

Tasteful solo by Bratta. Lomenzo and D’Angelo sit this one out.

Warm and fuzzies at the end.

Worth reading

Destroyer of Harmony has a FANTASTIC article about Vito Bratta. You should check it out:

Vito Bratta: A Rock N Roll Technician That Got Lost In All The Noise