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Under Lock and Key
November 2002
Released: 1985, Elektra/Asylum
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: CrashTest

This is my second review of a Dokken classic, the first being the excellent BACK FOR THE ATTACK (4.75/5). Unless someone else covers it before I do, look for my review of TOOTH AND NAIL (4.5/5) sometime in the near future.

There are but a half dozen or so albums from the 80s that effect me the way that UNDER LOCK AND KEY does. It's hard to put into words the feelings I have about this album, other than to say that it still sends chills up my spine whenever I listen to it. This is why I have given it a slightly higher mark than BACK FOR THE ATTACK, though both are excellent.

For the unititated, 80s Dokken consisted of Don Dokken (vocals), George Lynch (guitars), Jeff Pilson (bass) and Mick Brown (drums). Though the album cover screams "glam", the music screams "metal", and that's what it's really all about anyway.

This was Dokken's most commercially successful album, as it went multi-platinum in the USA and featured videos that received heavy rotation on MTV. There is no denying that this kind of success was the band's intent when they made the album. Yet, commercial success doesn't always translate into a horrible product, despite what the closed-minded may claim. UNDER LOCK AND KEY is a case in point.

Most metalheads are familiar with the two songs that got radio airplay, "In My Dreams" and "It's Not Love", but the entire album rocks with an unholy vengeance. For those who prefer it fast & heavy, try "Lightnin' Strikes" and "Til the Livin' End". For mid-paced tracks try "Hunter", "Unchain the Night" and "Don't Lie to Me". For those partial to a good ballad, try "Jaded Heart", "Slippin' Away" and "Will the Sun Rise". You simply can't go wrong with anything on the album. Don Dokken is at his best and Lynch simply shreds.

Next review: » Dol Ammad - STAR TALES
Previous review: » Dokken - Long Way Home

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