Lightning Strikes Again review by Dokken

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  • Released: Oct 29, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9.6 (17 votes)
Dokken: Lightning Strikes Again
2

Sound — 8
George Lynch may not be a member of Dokken's latest incarnation, but that doesn't mean the current lineup isn't able to deliver a pretty decent recreation of it's 80's heyday. Vocalist Don Dokken, guitarist Jon Levin, drummer Mick Brown, and bassist Barry Sparks aren't trying to conform to anything you hear on the radio these days (emo, pop, metal, or otherwise), and their latest album Lightning Strikes Again is a testament to that fact. The 12 new songs follow in the line of Dokken's first few albums, and while the very idea may seem outdated to some, hair metal devotees will likely cheer in unison. If you've lost touch with Dokken over the past decade as plenty of us have, it may come as some disappointment to know that George Lynch left twice: once in 1988 and a second time in 1997. That being said, current guitarist Jon Levin does a respectable job of taking over Lynch's astounding solo work. Founding member Don Dokken may now be over 50, but his voice has held up surprisingly well. Granted, he's a tad raspier and weathered, but his range and power have remained unaltered by the past few decades' passage. The quality of musicianship is still there, and what will likely be put under the microscope is the band's style or genre. If you love Dokken from the 80's, you'll love Lightning Strikes Again. While there are a few songs that stray slightly from the usual Dokken formula by going for a bit edgier sound, the album will also not alienate the band's fan base. "Disease" is one of the few that goes in a new direction, with the Dokken's vocals heavily enhanced by an echo and the song itself being much heavier than anything the band has done before. All in all you will still get the familiar melody-driven rock songs fueled by technically impressive solos on the album, and the band deserves credit for staying true to itself. So is there any ballad that can stand up against the hit "Alone Again"? "How I Miss Your Smile" misses the mark by sounding a little too cheesy for it's own good. "I Remember" is the better bet, having more of a dark and emotional feel to it. In terms of songs that have staying power in general, "Heart Of Stone" features one of the most memorable choruses on the entire record. The solo work is also pretty incredible on this track, but honestly Levin does a solid job on every track.

Lyrics — 7
There are ups and down in the lyrics, with a few songs falling into the 80's fluff trap. As someone who grew up during that era, that's not such a terrible thing. But for a lot of people who grow in the post-Nirvana world, the lyrics may lay it on a bit thick. On "Standing On The Outside" Dokken sings, "Ya knew there'd be consequences; When I gave you the keys to my heart; You knew that I had intentions; And you knew it right from the start." These are the kinds of lyrics you'd here quite often from 80's bands and I suppose they are again staying true to their roots in that particular case. But the band has more to offer up, with one of the more interesting songs being "Point Of No Return." Dokken sings, "Cast down your promises; The revolutions that I should believe; As you touch the tender face of innocence; Not mutually agreed." I'm not really sure exactly what it all means, but they are definitely not your run-of-the-mill lyrics.

Overall Impression — 8
If you are a fan of "Breaking The Chains," "Dream Warriors," or any of the other Dokken hits, you won't be disappointed by Lightning Strikes Again. The band doesn't waste time trying to be something it's not, which was incredibly smart on their part. There aren't a whole lot of 80's hair metal bands (if you want to lump them in this category) that are still producing new material, and I'd say that it's about time we heard from at least of few of those groups again. The success of events like Rocklahoma (which this July will feature everyone from Dokken to Triumph to Tesla) proves that there is a decent-sized audience that still craves those power balladeers from back in the day.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    sneaky11
    i love dokken just as much as anyone else, but dokken just isnt the same without george lynch. i mean this is one of the greatest guitarists ever we're talking about. it would be like if van halen made an album without eddie van halen, it just wouldnt be the same
    sneaky11
    Fenyx wrote: Sure, George Lynch was a god back in the day, but you really don't think that Dokken can't get at least a decent guitarist to replace him. Besides, look at Metallica, they replaced a god (Dave Mustaine) with some one almost as good (Kirk Hammet)... so it could work. just glad they didn't try anything new like 'Tallica (which died after Puppets)...
    kudos to you for recognizing the godliness of mustaine and hammett. they are the greatest
    gorczynskir1
    to deathmagnetic01 you are right kirk is the better choice for tallica but mustaine is without a doubt a better guitarist and musician but this album though it isnt lynch playing i think levin does a good job of emulating him but its really don's melodies that save this and make it a dokken album would have been awsome to see lynch play though but whatev album came out listenable for sure
    Etherealistic
    Tiepps wrote: I hope its good. Hair Metal should make a come back, teach these punk ass bands how to make a real solo. Huh but the real comeback is Rage Against the Machine and Motley Crue WOO!...and Metallica better hurry up, otherwise good ol Dave Mustaine will have anutha masterpiece down.
    You said it man!
    deathmagnetic01
    sneaky11 wrote: Fenyx wrote: Sure, George Lynch was a god back in the day, but you really don't think that Dokken can't get at least a decent guitarist to replace him. Besides, look at Metallica, they replaced a god (Dave Mustaine) with some one almost as good (Kirk Hammet)... so it could work. just glad they didn't try anything new like 'Tallica (which died after Puppets)... kudos to you for recognizing the godliness of mustaine and hammett. they are the greatest
    first of all, the guy who replaced lynch is freakin amazing live, i had never heard dokken before, but i loved them after the very first solo in the very first song, second, i'm not sure if mustaine or kirk is better but i'm pretty sure kirk is the better choice for tallica
    deathmagnetic01
    saw them live last week, they kicked ass, then i bought they're greatest hits cd and loved it, they were way better live though because on the studio versions don sings too high but live it's better, i'll write a review for greatest hits when the guy borrowing it from me returns it
    AXISSS
    7Sins wrote: Jon Levin is awesome! I'd put him upthere with better ones any day. And yes he can do all Lynch's solo'spretty much note for note.
    +1 John Levin is just as good as Lynch and this new cd kicks arse.
    Perturabo
    TexasFury wrote: Anyone know if Lynch is using a 7 string nowadays? I'm trying to tab "Tangled In The Web" from REvolution, and the Dropped D isn't working.
    I'm pretty sure he used his 6 string baritone on that CD.
    7Sins
    Jon Levin is awesome! I'd put him upthere with better ones any day. And yes he can do all Lynch's solo'spretty much note for note.
    Hanrahan
    So, I saw Dokken twice in the 80's. Lynch put down some wicked stuff in the studio, but he didn't pull it off live, back then... lots of improv solos where I was expecting him to shine. Dokken sings live as well as he does in the studio. Metallica, 1984, Ride the Lightning tour. Awesome. I remember Hammet tripped over his chord in the middle of a song, and Hetfield laughed at him. They never missed a note.
    lionnyne
    My favorite Dokken album was "Erase the Slate" And that didn't have George Lynch on it, so I don't see why this wouldn't still be a cool release.
    ledzeppelin7900
    FIRST!!!!! anyway, i think dokken's gonna suck without george lynch. he was freakin cool back in the day.
    MegaESP
    You all do know this isnt the first Dokken album without Lynch right? Lol.
    Texman4268
    Heard a clip of some of the new album and it does sound a lot like George Lynch and all the old Dokken sound.....TexasFury, I don't think George Lynch uses a 7 string but who knows, I'm not good enough to play any of his stuff. I always though he used regular tuning, too. Good luck with the tabbing!! Rock on!
    TexasFury
    Anyone know if Lynch is using a 7 string nowadays? I'm trying to tab "Tangled In The Web" from REvolution, and the Dropped D isn't working.
    Fenyx
    Sure, George Lynch was a god back in the day, but you really don't think that Dokken can't get at least a decent guitarist to replace him. Besides, look at Metallica, they replaced a god (Dave Mustaine) with some one almost as good (Kirk Hammet)... so it could work. just glad they didn't try anything new like 'Tallica (which died after Puppets)...
    SystemFan101
    Dokken was my fav band since i was like 5 and im 14 goind on 15 in may 16 And mom said they rule!!!!! Also my mom said that that was funny that they said "warent trying to conform to anything you hear on the radio these days (emo, pop, metal, or otherwise)"
    bbbbrooks1
    ledzeppelin7900 wrote: FIRST!!!!! anyway, i think dokken's gonna suck without george lynch. he was freakin cool back in the day.
    I agree man....don was great....great vocals n such.....but Lynch was one of the greatest things since sliced bread....or since van halen....What im tryin to say is...HE MADE THE BAND....There is no Dokken Without Lynch
    FEDS-91
    I've been a Lynch fan since I was 15. He's the one that made me want to pick up a guitar. And I have to say, this Levin guy does an amazing Lynch impression. If you'd have played me this CD without my seeing the lineup, I'd have thought it was George playing. He's got the tone and style down pat. Is it George, no. No one is, but this is as close as you could possibly get. The CD itself is so reminiscent of the Tooth & Nail, Under Lock & Key and Back For The Attack. Kudos to them. Definitely worth the pick up.
    blakk73
    Don Dokken must be a bitch to work with.No wonder the lineups change so much!!! Do you think there will ever be another Dokken reunion, with all original members?
    TexasFury
    This new guitarist sounds reminiscent of Lynch. Could use a tiny bit better mixing but not bad. It is mixed clearer than Whitesnake's new one.
    hardrocker64
    The article is right. If you like Tooth and Nail and Under Lock and Key you will like this. It really does have a George Lynch feel and sounds like him.
    Tiepps
    I hope its good. Hair Metal should make a come back, teach these punk ass bands how to make a real solo. Huh but the real comeback is Rage Against the Machine and Motley Crue WOO!...and Metallica better hurry up, otherwise good ol Dave Mustaine will have anutha masterpiece down.
    HardMetalReview
    FEDS-91 wrote: I've been a Lynch fan since I was 15. He's the one that made me want to pick up a guitar. And I have to say, this Levin guy does an amazing Lynch impression. If you'd have played me this CD without my seeing the lineup, I'd have thought it was George playing. He's got the tone and style down pat. Is it George, no. No one is, but this is as close as you could possibly get. The CD itself is so reminiscent of the Tooth & Nail, Under Lock & Key and Back For The Attack. Kudos to them. Definitely worth the pick up.
    on key point of Jon's sound being so close to George's sound is he is also Don Dokken's lawyer so he had a pretty good hold on how to deliver the right before joining as the guitarist