Don Dokken – Solitary

Don Dokken
Dead Line Music

Don Dokken on Selective Memory

Links: Dokken | Dead Line Music

Don Dokken has defined a career tinged with some of the most iconic and moving rock music to come out of the 1980s. As the 1990s turned into the 2000s, Dokken became peppered with a variety of live and studio albums that never matched the 1980s rock scene yet they solidified the band’s identity.

However, 1990 saw Don Dokken’s debut solo album Up From The Ashes. His work on the album was basically an accentuation of what Dokken was doing at the time, and it churned out its fare share of hard rockers fueled by a line up that consisted of members who have been in bands like Europe, Accept, and King Diamond.

Solitary is Don Dokken’s most challenging work to date, stripping away the sonics and focusing on a fragile and intricately bedroom rock approach. The album was initially released in 2008 to fans as a tour-only release. Dead Line Music, a division of Cleopatra Records, is reissuing the album with bonus tracks. This is not simply Don Dokken unplugged; the album challenges his vocal capabilities through introspective diversity.

For the album, he continues to enlist some high-profile musicians including bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm and Whitesnake) plus renowned drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa and Sting). However, one of the highlights of this album is the cover of Labrinth’s “Jealous.” It is just Don sitting at a piano and singing a very compelling version of an already compelling song.

Another bonus is his version of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” What seems like something out of left field and possibly awkward to hear Don Dokken record this song is not so offbeat given the amount of ballads Don Dokken has churned out throughout his career. Downplayed with acoustic guitar and harp in the background gives the song a more folkloric feel.

Even in 2008, Don developed a more seasoned vocal range, giving a song like “You Are Everything,” a late-1970s AOR feel, drifting off into some lyrical daydream. The song is a beautiful diversion that feels very natural to his thoughts at the time.

This album not only unlocks a deserving release, but it also serves as a reminder to a solo album that is in the works and scheduled for release later this year.

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