Title - 'Dying To Live'
Artist - Joel Hoekstra's 13
Joel Hoekstra's 13 is a new solo project from Whitesnake guitarist, Joel Hoekstra (who else) who has also played with Night Ranger and Trans Siberian Orchestra in the past. The stellar line-up for this debut album features Russell Allen (lead vocals), Jeff Scott Soto (backing vocals), Tony Franklin (bass), Derek Sherinian (keyboards), and Vinnie Appice on drums.
The first track from the man who replaced Doug Aldrich in Whitesnake is the furious 'Say Goodbye To The Sun,' and it is backed by the closest thing to a Whitesnake song on this powerhaus new album, 'Anymore.' As a truly devoted, long term Whitesnake fan, this track - amongst the many great cuts here - is one of the real gems here. That's backed by the mid-tempo 'Until I Left You,' and then the ballad 'Long For The Days.' A power ballad that reverts back to the good ol' days of rock, it's yet another stand out cut to behold.
The next track is 'Scream,' a track chock full of everything that makes this genre as beloved as it has been since its creation, it is backed by both 'Never Say Never' and 'Changes.' Now, as much as they both were tracks that could easily be termed as, well, let's not use the word "filler" here, but you get the drift, the band get back up on their feet for 'The Only Way To Go.'
The stunning title track 'Dying To Live' sums up the entire album perfectly. It focuses on struggles, potential pitfalls and the art of overcoming obstacles in life to finally arrive where we are meant to be. The album then culminates in both the rock 'n' soul of 'Start Again' and then, finally, the power ballad duet with Chloe Lowery (Trans Siberian Orchestra) on 'What We Believe.' [FYI: 12. The bonus digital download only track is 'Kill or Be Killed'].