Fireworks

Joel Hoekstra's 13 - 'Dying to Live' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/83/3f/ad/Joel-Hoekstras-13-Dying-To-Live-90-1448999413.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 01, 2015    
 
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A superb release.

Many of you will know the name of Joel Hoekstra from his tenure with the mighty Night Ranger. Since he left that band he's been recruited to work with David Coverdale in Whitesnake and in between this, he's also found the time to record a solo album entitled 'Dying To Live'.

On the album he's surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in the business to help make his music come to life. These include Tony Franklin on bass, Vinny Appice on drums, Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Toby Hitchcock and Chloe Lowey on backing vocals. Now if those wonderful musicians weren't enough to whet your appetite, Hoekstra tops things off by having two old friends providing vocals for his songs. So take a bow Jeff Scott Soto and Russell "God!" Allen, who really do put in some great performances on '...Live'.

Now I know some will be crying out, that this is just another in a long line of Frontiers projects but it doesn't sound or feel like that. The album has much more of a band feel and that's down (I feel) to the song-writing of Hoekstra. He has written a very complete set of songs that doesn't try to chop and change styles to suit the moment or mood. Instead we are provided with what we all want, a Melodic Hard Rock album full of fine performances and strong tracks.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Kicking off with the fantastic opening salvo of 'Say Goodbye To The Sun' and 'Anymore', Hoekstra and associates let you know what they're all about, which is playing catchy intoxicating Hard Rock filled with that superb Hoekstra's guitar work. For me though, it's from the third song onwards that the band really hit their stride. 'Until I left You', 'Long For The Days', 'Scream', 'Never Say Never', 'Changes', 'Start Again', 'What We Believe' and the caustic title track are all prime examples of how to write, produce and perform classy sounding Hard Rock. And I defy anyone who calls themselves a fan of this genre, to not like what they are hearing.

On a purely selfish note I wonder if Joel Hoekstra would not be better served by forming a touring band to play this music, rather than joining Whitesnake (sorry Snake fans), as I'd love to see this album's songs performed in a live setting. That probably and unfortunately isn't going to happen, so we (including me) will just have to satisfy our musical wants with this superb release.

Ian Johnson

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  • Berny : You can pre - order FIREWORKS MAGAZINE #97 now!
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  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
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