Veteran rockers Dokken return with a new album and a very good lineup. John Norum, formerly of Europe is present on guitars which comes as no surprise due to his work with Don Dokken on his solo effort some years back. Barry Sparks fills the void left by Jeff Pilson who is working with former Dokken guitar virtuoso George Lynch. All in all the lineup is very solid and present the music very well. I have some other derogatory reviews out there concerning this album that I feel are unfounded. This album shows a return to the familiar Dokken melodies of their earlier era. Sure there are differences, but thank goodness this album isn't 'Shadowlife' which I never cared for. This album has some great moments. The album opens with the very chunky 'Sunless Days'. A definite headbanging track to open strong. Other rockers include 'Everybody needs (to be with someone) which has some great sounding guitar work, 'You' which is pretty thick and solid sounding, and 'Under the gun' which is a bit more frenzied than the rest. As far as ballads go, this album has some good ones with 'Goodbye my friend' which I really find the chorus infectious, 'I've found' which is very light and melodic, and 'There was a time' which isn't necessarily a ballad in the pure sense, but is very cool and another favorite. I feel this album is n good taste and as a fan of the band, it's us who decide really, right??
While this album is not the heaviest the band has released, it is far from the worst. I actualy found this album the most enjoyable listen since 'Back for the attack'. It draws on what makes a good album good... the music. For those that feel the band has to be predictable and you convey this in your own reviews, 90's music must be for you. I think the fans should see through this and think for themselves 'cause after all that is what makes us unique. This is a good album and worth checking out. Period!
For those craving the good old days of hard rock and roll, Raggedy Ann is just the feast. I really liked the bands previous effort 'Arizona' and was definitely very curious to hear the new material when offered. Let's just say that you guys are gonna dig this stuff!! The band doesn't mix it up too much stylistically when compared to 'Arizona'. That is what makes them so good! The know what they do well and they continue to grow with it. 'Dreamcatcher' is the next step of growing and finds the band really demanding their respect. Take a listen to the opener 'Superhero'. I could hear this track on the self titled Lynch Mob record. Absolutely amazing musically and Brian Carson really sings his ass off on this one. The album is relentless in its pursuit of being a masterpiece. Other tracks that emphasize the point include the rockers 'Stop', 'Rain on my parade', 'Dreamcatcher','Holy Water, and 'Fineline' and the power ballad 'One more time' which is quite effective. The album closer 'The Sign' is a favorite of mine and a great way to end the experience. I really don't feel there is a bad track on the disc and can see the essential growth of the band without being experimental. Not to say the band desn't cover any new ground, they just don't tread into dangerous waters that can really sacrifice a bands career in a hurry. The band plays great hard rock and they do it very well!
I think most will get the point made by the review. There really is some great talent out there that has been kinda lost in the shuffle. Raggedy Ann are really coming of their own and opportunity is being taken advantage of effectively. The band has been doing soundtracks and the gigging which is a very necessary and important step. This new album if promoted well should bring the band the respect the have worked hard for and deserve. Naturally, this one is highly recommended!