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Long Way Home
June 2002
Released: 2002, CMC International / Sanctuary
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I have always liked Dokken. Virtually every CD they have done I have enjoyed. This 9th studio CD (actually 10th if ya wanna get technical and 16th release overall) is no exception. The line-up saga continues with Pilson and Beach out and Norum and Barry Sparks in but the band doesn’t suffer from it.

This is a very sophisticated and well-rounded Dokken CD. It has touches of many elements, fast songs, slow songs, ballads, an acoustic piece, a little piano and some guitar crunch. The lead off track “Sunless Days” is quite heavy matching briefly the heaviness of Back For The Attack. The last track, “I’ve Found,” is a simple campfire style acoustic harmonized ballad. “Magic Road” and “Under The Gun” add much needed heaviness to a fairly mellow disc. The whole thing is mellower than ERASE THE SLATE but has some stronger songs.

It is very interesting to note that Kelly Keeling co-wrote seven of the ten tracks. Produced by Michael Wanger at Total Access in California this disc sounds great!! He is a true professional, really bringing out the warmth in the slower songs and the crunch in the heavier ones. The “fallen angel” theme of the front cover is really not all that original and lyrically the songs don’t stray from the tried and true themes of other Dokken releases.

There is a cover tune here called “Heart Full of Soul” but I am not familiar with the original.

Don’s voice is in fine form and the quality of musicianship in this genre is unrivalled. John Norum does a great job and fits nicely in the band. I’ve always been a fan of Norum and have several of his solo albums. Wild Mick Brown really ain’t all that wild on the kit this time out but is as solid as anyone for this style. A batch of strong well, written songs make this much better than Dysfunctional and Shadowlife but not as good as Back for the Attack. I know I’m biased being a lifelong fan, it is good to see them continuing on so you may want to take that into consideration. A must for fans and a decent one to try for everyone else.

Next review: » Dokken - Long Way Home
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Long Way Home
April 2002
Released: 2002, CMC International
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Keith McDonald

Dokken were definitely one of the better ‘hair bands’ that the 80’s produced. Yet due to internal problems the band never was able to make the dent in the music industry that they should have. They produced platinum album after platinum album only to break up just as they were ready to become arena headliners. Now the band has carried on since regrouping in 1994. But they have also seen some personnel changes as well. Now we all expected George Lynch to be the first to go, but now we’ve seen his replacement Reb Beach return to his former outfit Winger, replaced by ex-Europe axe-slinger John Norum. But what surprises me the most is that the backbone of Dokken, Jeff Pilson, is not in the picture, being replaced by Barry Sparks. After their musical departure of Shadowlife, the band returned to its melodic roots with 1999’s Erase The Slate, and now Long Way Home has continued that journey. Blistering with the tracks Sunless Days, Little Girl and the best track on the album Goodbye My Friend, Don Dokken has shown that like a fine wine, he only gets better with age. Dokken are great songwriters, churning out great song after great song – full of energy and emotion. John Norum provides strong, powerful guitars and what would a Dokken album be without powerful harmonies that compliment Don’s sweet vocals and lyrics. This is a must for any Dokken or melodic hard rock fan. Pick up this CD.

Next review: » Dokken - Under Lock and Key
Previous review: » Dokken - Live Japan ‘95

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