The name might not be familiar, but the voice is unmistakable.
Fans of rock music from the 1980s will recall White Lion. The Brooklyn-based band featured lead singer Mike Tramp and guitar virtuoso Vito Bratta.
During my college years, watching MTV consumed a majority of my evening hours. I simply couldn’t get enough of the continuous stream of music videos that served as background noise while chilling out after a long day.
With the support of MTV, White Lion’s “Pride”served as the band’s breakthrough album from 1987 with the help of the infectious rocker “Wait.” The band would follow with 1989’s “Big Game” and 1991’s “Mane Attraction” before finally calling it quits.
Since the band’s breakup, Tramp has continued his musical journey alone with a career that carries on with his latest solo effort.
“Stray from the Flock” finds the Danish singer-songwriter in fine form. His long-flowing blond hair is now significantly shorter and darker, but his voice still possesses the same electricity as it did back in the days when White Lion delivered rousing tracks like “Hungry,” “Little Fighter” and Golden Earring’s “Radar Love.”
“No End to War” is a powerful opener that details the horrors of battle and is a natural continuation of the earlier White Lion hit “When the Children Cry” as Tramp sings, “Hear the cries of a million children/Keep destroying what they’re building/Ain’t got bread and ain’t got water/Caught right in the midst of slaughter.”
“Dead End Ride” outlines the desperation of a failing relationship when neither partner can seem to find a satisfying resolution to the many obstacles that keep blocking the path to happiness.
“Homesick” addresses life on the road as a rock star and the numerous days spent away from friends and family in search of fortune and fame. It’s a realization that hits the heart far too late to make amends.
Other highlights include the heartbreaking confessional “No Closure,” the spirited road track “One Last Mission” and the soul searching described on “Messiah."
“Die with a Smile on Your Face” closes the set with a rocker’s mentality as the 58-year-old singer declares, “When you live like you want/And do as you please/You can die with a smile on your face.”
With Tramp delivering a solid album from start to finish, “Stray from the Flock” is certain to bring a smile to the faces of White Lion fans everywhere.
Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.