Toby Hitchcock
Mercury's Down

01 - This Is The Moment
02 - Strong Enough
03 - How To Stop
04 - Let Go
05 - One Day I'll Stop Loving You
06 - I Should Have Said
07 - If It's To Be (It's Up To Me)
08 - Just Say Goodbye
09 - Summer Nights In Cabo
10 - Tear Down The Baricades
11 - A Different Drum
12 - Mecury's Down

Toby Hitchcock – Lead Vocals
Erik Martensson – All Instruments



Produced and written by Erik Martensson

Released 26/8-2011
Reviewed 16/8-2011


He is probably most known as the voice of Pride of Lions where he collaborates with the well-known Jim Petrik of the somewhat known band Survivor, for the album labelled with his name he has help from a countryman of mine called Erik Mårtensson who does everything but the vocals on this album, that includes the song writing. The album is the solo debut of Hitchcock and it is called Mercury’s Down and has a cover artwork that is quite alike the one on the latest Uriah Heep album, maybe they share the same artist who were out of inspiration and decided to make a spaced version of the Into the Wild cover artwork. It is good looking artwork though and it would certainly interest me in the album.

Musically it cannot really be described as particularly surprising, if you know Pride of Lions then you know in what area the music of this album ends up. It might be slightly more powerful than Pride of Lions but not that much and Toby still keeps his voice in the higher pitches of the vocal range of man. The production is crystal clear and it brings out the melodies in the songs. The songs themselves are focused on being very melodic, often with catchy choruses and with some virtuosity is involved as well. The album has twelve tracks and these tracks have a combined playing time of around fifty four minutes.

It all starts with a track called This is the Moment which is a really good track that brings you into the album in the best possible way, not only does it offer a positive entrance but it also represents what we as listeners can expect from the album. This track along with a few more are some fantastic additions to this album and might possibly make this album a future classic amongst the fans of the genre at least. I think track four Let Go is a really great track with a chorus that is to die for, track five the ballad One Day I’ll Stop Loving You is another one of these tracks. I will also mention the ending title track, then there are some good fillers as well, like Strong Enough, I should Have Said and one or two more.

In general this is a really good album, Toby’s voice along with Erik’s song writing and production feels like a winning combination. The great start along with the great finish makes it easy to play the album all the way through and the overall soundscape is quite magical to be honest. The tracks mentioned by name are also fantastic tracks the could become future classics perhaps.

The most parts of this album are very good but there are some minor niggles, one of this is the time it takes to play it. The fifty four minutes make for a bit long playing time no matter if the album is really good. This is mainly thanks to track eight, nine, ten and eleven being a bit down on the rest of the album, kind of like it is running on idle for these tracks, track eight Just Say Goodbye sound a bit like it is being quite a lot inspired by Don’t Stop Believin’, the Journey song you know and not the best one from said band either. But the time and the idle part are the downs of this album, the rest of the album is just great and I would have actually contemplated a full house of Hs if these four tracks were killed as darlings and the album was closer to the forty minute timeframe than the one hour timeframe. As it is now it is a good album but it is a touch on the long side. It might also be that some people would see it as a negative that Erik has used the AOR For Dummies book to assist him in his song writing for this album.

I think though that Toby does a great job along with the very skilled Swede with whom he is collaborating for this album and if you like Pride of Lions and Toby I am sure you will really enjoy this great album that only has a few minor shortcomings preventing it from being near a timeless classic. Some of the songs on this album are brilliant though and I can listen to them time and time again and they remain in the mind even when the album is not played.

This is AOR very close to its best, an album that no one can think badly of and I mean nobody no matter what musical preference you have, anyone will like this album.


Label: Frontier Records
Three similar bands: Pride of Lions/Survivor/Xorigin
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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