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Dokken Lightning Strikes Again Frontiers Records
FRCD349
Produced By: Don Dokken

Running Time:

Release Date: April 11

Released:

Musical Style: Hard Rock

Links: Frontiers
85%
Songs: 85%
Sound: 90%
Ever since Dokken took a left turn with the hideous Shadowlife album, there have been calls for the band to return to their classic 80s sound.
While recent releases have been more melodically friendly, there is one thing that is clear. Dokken will never return to the sound of Under Lock And Key until vocalist Don Dokken sings in the manner he did on those old releases and that is simply never going to happen.
So we must accept the new Dokken for what it is. Don cannot sing like he used to and it is a sad fact that Don himself must be considered the weak link in this release.
Don's voice is far more restrained these days and now of a lower register and if we are honest here, Don generally sounds as if he is singing within himself until he goes for a bigger note, where he then sounds as if he had to strain to get there.
There are examples all over this record, but the verse vocal in Give Me A Reason is one of the worst.
Jeff Scott Soto can be heard throughout adding texture to the backing vocals and at times he is responsible for lifting the choruses out of second gear for the band.
The star of this album for me without any shadow of a doubt is guitarist Jon Levin, who has produced his very best to make this album as punchy as it can be and closest to the band's heyday sound as possible. And he achieves his goal and further's his good name in the process.
Jon's authoritve riffing and the generally punchy sound of the album as a whole are the two reasons it works. His guitar is all over this record.
The opening trio of rockers Standing On The Outside, Give Me A Reason and Heart To Stone are all cool, guitar fueled old-school rockers and will keen Dokken fans happy.
The even more uptempo Point Of No Return is another solid track; Judgment Day and the groove filled closer This Fire are also highlights.
There are a few fillers here also though. Don slips into old habits on the modern rock influenced tone of Disease, which does nothing for me and Oasis is similar.
And How I Miss Your Smile is a very bland ballad. Thankfully I Remember is a little better.
The Bottom Line
The album sounds great musically speaking (aside from a couple of modern sounding tracks) and the production is first rate. The songs (again with a couple of exceptions) are strong and memorable, but the lead vocal does let things down a little and with a more intense in your face vocal, the album could have been quite menacing.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Breaking The Chains
Tooth And Nail
Under Lock And Key
Back For The Attack
Beast From The East
Dokken
Dysfunctional
One Night Only
Shadowlife
Erase The Slate
Live From The Sun
Live '95
Long Way Home
Hell To Pay
Lightning Strikes Again

Line Up:
Don Dokken: Vocals
Jon Levin: Guitar
Mick Brown: Drums
Barry Sparks: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
Dokken
Track Listing
Standing On The Outside *
Give Me A Reason
Heart To Stone *
Disease
How I Miss Your Smile
Oasis
Point Of No Return
I Remember
Judgment Day *
It Means
Release Me
This Fire *

--*Best Tracks



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