You know the old saying about how just when you think
everything's been said and done someone comes along
and surprises you, right? That can certainly be said
of Joel Hoekstra who, with The Moon Is Falling, has taken the beast known as "The Guitar Record" and turned it on its ear. While Hoekstra continues the time-honored tradition of evoking a variety of moods and and a variety of genres, The Moon Is Falling emanates from a single, focused voice that blasts listeners with its complexity, integrity and honesty.
The variations within that voice, the various tones it
strikes are incredible as there are moments of
something approaching traditional jazz (moments of the
gorgeous "Fire Island") to contemporary fusion in the
vein of Planet X (X drummer Virgil Donati lends his
unique groove and oddly melodic drumming to this
album) to tres bizarre rock-ish grooves ("Baboons Are
Dangerous" and "9/11," both of which are reminiscent
of Primus) and even something approximating hip-hop
("Snoop"). The ballads here would be referred to as
obligatory in the hands of a lesser guitarist but when
Hoekstra heads for said terrain, you get the feeling
that it's because the time is right, not just because
he has to.
In short, The Moon Is Falling is a fine, strange
beautiful release, as good as Joe Satriani's Flying In
A Blue Dream or Planet X's recent Moonbabies. Hoekstra deserves wider acclaim and The Moon Is Falling is a step in the right direction.