Released through independent label Decibel Records, the new album from Australian vocalist Daniel Koek (pronouced ‘Cook’) is several years in the making and comes hot in the heels of a year long run as Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables.
No doubt that alone bodes well for the quality of performer we have on hand here, as does the fact that he has also starred in such wide ranging productions as West Side Story, Chess, South Pacific and more. However, if you’re expecting this album to be packed to the gills with showtunes, you’d be wrong. In fact, the only high profile track on here from a musical (as far as I can tell) is the classic ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Mis, given a double layered vocal lick of paint in a new arrangement.
Aside from that, the other eleven songs are a great mixture of cinematic, operatic, dramatic and heartfelt songs which have seemingly been selected to bring the best out of Koek’s voice. And what a voice it is.
Whether soaring in the likes of Alle Impriviso or understated as in the case of I Surrender, Daniel Koek’s vocal is tremendous and versatile. With twelve tracks in total, his full range is very well represented here, and it puts him over as one of finest vocalists you’re ever likely to hear bar none.
That statement may come across as hyperbole, but once you’ve heard Koek blast his way through the huge choruses and key changes that characterise this album, it’s hard to believe anyone would disagree. This album won’t be everyone’s cup of tea from a genre point of view, but if you enjoy a classical twist on your pop music, plus an astounding voice which can’t fail to impress, then this is an album – and and artist – worth your time.