Company: Cleopatra Records Release: 2010 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: Chris Kincaid
Some things are better remembered the way they were
I got into Metal in 1990 so I missed the decade of excess, still my introduction was by way of Hair Metal. One of those bands was Dokken but to be fair I never considered Dokken a 'Hair Band'. Their sound was harder, faster, more raw than say Poison.
The last couple of years have seen a resurgence of 80's branded bands making comebacks. Dokken are one of those bands that have pulled it off in moderately successful terms. Releasing an album in 08 called "Lighting Strikes Again" that was stronger on the formula that helped propel them to stardom back in 83 then say "Shadowlife" or "Hell To Pay". And they did those Norton Internet Security commericals, which no doubt was a great calling card to open them up to a new generation of head bangers.
Seizing the moment they have gone back and redone their classic MTV spawned hits with their new lineup of Jon Levin on guitars and Sean McNabb of Quiet Riot fame on bass. Only Don and Mick Brown remain the original members.
Unlike the original greatest hits collection released back in 99 and the even more detailed 2 CD Definitive Collection, this one sticks to the ten most popular songs with 2 new studio tracks and 2 covers rounding out the 14 tracks in all.
I'll admit some songs are pulled off nicely with very little difference. Like 'The Hunter' or 'In My Dreams'. Their cover of The Hollies 'Bus Stop' is enjoyable as is the new track 'Magic Man', ironically an inner reflection of the good ole days.
Instrumentally the sound is solid and is the reason for the modest rating. I'd stack it up against a number of the bands currently out there. Only reason why it's not better rests on the shoulders of Don. The biggest and most notable difference in the quality of these songs is in Don's chops. Time has not been good to a man who use to have one of the finest voices in Heavy Metal. His once effortless ability to hit the high notes is gone. There's a few tracks where he tries but his voice cracks in it's attempt. Songs like 'Dream Warriors' and 'Tooth And Nail' don't come close to the original versions as Don side steps the higher register. Also as good as Levin is...and he's pretty damn good...he's no Lynch. His take on the classics miss that reverb tone and dazzling solo style Lynch is known for.
Don't get me wrong! I'm a big fan of Dokken. Every summer I still put in the greatest hits and crank the stereo to 11. I even liked a few of the songs off of the "Lightning" album mentioned above. But taking the songs that fans remember as staples of their youth and 'touching them up' gives Don the Axl Rose complex - the attempt to rewrite history and capture lightning in a bottle a second time. No pun intended.
It can't be done! There was just something about the Dokken, Brown, Lynch, Pilson days. It was a case of the all the right elements at the right time and that's not something that can be recreated.
Some things are better remembered the way they were.
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