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DOKKEN
LONG WAY HOME

Sanctuary 06076 86316-2
Produced by: Don Dokken

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Relatives: Themselves
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 85%

  1. Sunless Days
  2. Little Girl
  3. Everybody Needs (To Be With Someone)
  4. You
  5. Goodbye My Friend
  6. Magic Road
  7. There Was A Time
  8. Heart Full Of Soul
  9. Under The Gun
  10. I've Found

I have no doubt that this album will cause no end of debate. Is it really Dokken? Does the album rock enough? Why isn't it 1988 again?
I can answer a couple of those questions, but first some thoughts on what Long Way Home is.
I really like this record. That's the bottom line, but I also expect plenty to disagree with me. Plenty will also have already made up their mind if they were going to buy this or not. If you are still undecided on purchasing this, then read the review carefully.
As far as the true sense of Dokken, this is a pretty laid back affair and I feel that Don sings within himself a great deal of the time. His voice has obviously changed over the years. It's also a very stripped back sounding album, with a lot of songs based around an acoustic guitar base, plus there's very few backing vocals present.
On the other hand, I find the songs themselves to be quite appealing in a melodic way. Although the band's last album Erase The Slate rocked pretty hard, I found the songs to be largely uninviting after several listens and I haven't been back to that album since I finished reviewing it.
Dokken this time around featured Don and Mick together with bassist Barry Sparks and guitarist John Norum. Don last worked with John on his Up From The Ashes solo album, which in essence means this could be called a Don Dokken solo record.
Norum has a great solid guitar sound. I really love his dedication to putting riffs before solo's and his solid sound is something I was looking forward to hearing on this album.
I think John Norum has been under used on this album and I think that will be the main beef fans have with the album. It really doesn't rock hard and is certainly a long way from the George Lynch days.
But as I said, this is still my favourite album since the 1994 Self Titled Japanese 9 track album, that was incidentally produced by the same team responsible for this album - Don Dokken and Michael Wagener.
If you don't mind the more relaxed, laid back feel of the album, then these songs are amongst the most melodic Dokken, or Don have performed.
Sunless Days is the lead song and a track previewed to mixed response. Well folks, it's one of the more rocking tracks of the album, so if you didn't like it, it doesn't get any better. But I liked the Norum lead guitar track. It's solid, it's no bullshit and gets straight to the point.
Little Girl is still an electric guitar track, but is somewhat more laid back and features a soft Led Zeppelin like riff, leading to a very melodic and catchy acoustic backed chorus. There's some interesting synth / musical accompaniment to the track that mixes things up a little.
Everybody Needs (To Be With Someone) is another electric track, but mid tempo again, rolling along in a happy go lucky pop rock way.
You is back to the rockier sound of the opening track. An ok track, but not a highlight.
Goodbye My Friend is a cool soft piano ballad backed by acoustic guitars and a nice sentimental feel. The softest track ever recorded by Don or Dokken.
Magic Road is back into electric territory, rocking with a slight psychedelic/70's feel to it. Interesting guitar track that softens out during the verses.
There Was A Time is another mid-tempo acoustic ballad, mixed with a little electric guitar, laid back and features another softly spoken Don Dokken vocal.
A cover of the track Heart Full Of Soul (you'll recognize it) is not entirely necessary, but fits the vibe of the album and sees Don closest to his old style vocal in a few places.
Under The Gun sees the band rocking as they did on the opening track, which is good to hear, especially Mick Brown's more uptempo drumming. A closer to traditional Dokken track.
I've Found is another psychedelic / 70's / acoustic / Beatle-esque pop ballad. An interesting departure and a cool song that features an orchestral string section. Not for rocking die hard Dokken fans by any means!
BOTTOM LINE: A mixed album that will invoke a mixed response. If you close your eyes and pretend it's a Don solo album, or if you can put the band's 80's heyday behind you, or if you are prepared for something a little mellower, then this release should give a lot of enjoyment.
But that's a lot of 'if's'.....personally I enjoyed it as a good melodic mid tempo'd rock album.
PRODUCTION: 90% SONGS: 80% VIBE: 85%ATTITUDE: 85%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Don Dokken and John Norum fans, a mix of old Dokken fans.
RECENT DISCOGRAPHY: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 . Best Of Dokken . Live From The Sun . Don Dokken solo - Up From The Ashes



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