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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Dokken - 2012 Broken Bones
Dokken - 2012 Broken Bones

ARTIST: Dokken
ALBUM: Broken Bones
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Don Dokken - vocals * Jon Levin - guitar * Sean McNabb - bass * Mick Brown - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Empire * 02 Broken Bones * 03 Best Of Me * 04 Blind * 05 Waterfall * 06 Victim Of The Crime * 07 Burning Tears * 08 Today * 09 For The Last Time * 10 Fade Away * 11 Tonight



Still plying their trade against all the odds are Dokken, despite a virtual plethora of weak albums over the years, the worst of which was 1997's 'Shadowlife', one of the most terrible albums I've ever heard in any genre. 2008's 'Lightning Strikes Again' was meant to be a return to the bands 80's sound, but never really eventuated. Prior to the release of this album the same words were thrown around again, somewhat predictably it must be said. Those expecting another 'Tooth And Nail' should be checked for mental stability as those days are as long gone as George Lynch and Jeff Pilson. This is the first album I've heard from these guys myself since the late 90's and going in I thought it couldn't be as bad as the album cover which must have taken five minutes to create. Joining the band officially on bass also is journeyman McNabb, another 80's veteran who's done the rounds over the years.

The Songs
Thankfully the music doesn't plumb the depths of the cover, but to suggest this is essential would be a total fabrication. Mostly it's a set of plodding hard rock that sits well with what these guys have been producing since 1995's 'Dysfunctional'. The opener 'Empire' is as close as it gets to the 80's in terms of speed and energy and perhaps this was done to falsely lure in remaining die-hard fans into believing Dokken are 'back' - again. The title track is very inoffensive and melodic, a cross between the 80's and 90's, sounding as if the band is still engaging in a mid 90's sub-grunge haze. 'Best Of Me' and 'Blind' follow suit, very non-descript and forgettable in both melody and originality. But it gets worse with the pairing of 'Waterfall' and 'Victim Of The Crime', both duds, the latter toying with stale psychedelic tones, on the same level as the worst of 'Shadowlife'. Much has been said about Dokken's vocal weaknesses and it's noticeable on 'Burning Tears', where he struggles to hit the notes on another boring track that has me thinking it's still 1995. The less said about 'Today' the better, a Jefferson Airplane cover with a folk rock vibe that doesn't belong here. The rest of the album is just as insipid, there's no attempt to capture a 'vintage' Dokken sound, which is all they have left these days to try and maintain a fan base.

In Summary
I didn't expect much from 'Broken Bones' but I'm stunned how genuinely poor this album is. I do admit to never really rating this band, but the lack of power is glaring; only 'Empires' is remotely heavy and that's not saying much. I'm sure some out there will hail it as a modern classic from Dokken and that's okay. But from my vantage point it's lacking in almost every area, truly the sound of a band going through the motions. You'd have to be truly desperate to contemplate picking this one up.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 01 2012 14:37:50
It seems like the same guy was used to put together the artwork for both the new Dokken and Eclipse cover art. Tacky and cheap looking..
#2 | rkbluez on October 11 2012 11:33:01
Heard a lot worst albums this year that people love...Don's voice is the weak link on this album but the music and especially Jon Levin's killer guitar work still leaves a lot to like about it...not their best by a long stretch but not a total waste IMO.

Maybe since they're saying this will be the last Dokken album...Levin will start a band of his own...I certainly hope so as the guy can rock.
#3 | gdazegod on October 11 2012 22:01:11
I didn't mind their 2008 album 'Lightning Strikes Again'. Thought that was pretty reasonable all things considered, knowing full well some shortfalls with Don's voice. But still..
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