I will be honest with you. I am not very crazy about solo projects by front men or members of bands I like. Often they “experiment” with things that they shouldn’t and a strange, if not indeed just plain bad sound is created. The best example I can give you is Bret Michaels’ tribute to Poison called “Show Me Your Hits.” That album almost killed Poison for me. It was just horrible!So, I was at the store today and there were two Dokken albums on sale for a reduced price. “Shadow Life” and Don’s solo album “Up From the Ashes.” I had heard Puppet on a String from Shadow Life and thought it was a decent song but since hearing that song I was told by many that it is, to put it mildly, not a good or remotely happy album. So, I opted for the solo album and took a chance.To say I’m blown away is an understatement!From Crash ‘n’ Burn to The Hunger, I was shocked to hear just how much this album sounds like Dokken, the band! In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear George Lynch was on guitar! Of course, he wasn’t. It was John Norum formerly of Europe. A little “FYI” information for you. John actually played with Dokken on their 2002-2003 tours. Not many can hold a candle to George Lynch, John holds a torch to it.Crash ‘n’ Burn, Mirror Mirror, When Love Finds a Fool, Stay, and Livin’ a Lie are my personal favorites off the album. There are a few melodies that fall a little flat and there are times when I think the chorus could have been slightly more energetic. But for the most part I thought the album to be one for the ages. It’s up there with Under Lock and Key, for sure!So, if you’re afraid, as I was, of horrible and drastically different solo albums, fear not good citizen! This album is living proof, Don is the driving force behind Dokken: Not George, Jeff, or even Mick (though I LOVE Mick.) This is musical ecstasy. Pick it up! You’ll be glad that you did!