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Dokken: Lightning Strikes Again
Melodic Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Dokken comes back after a four year absence with 'Lightning Strikes Again,' coincidently named after a song on their 'Under Lock And Key' album. George Lynch has come and gone twice and John Levin (Doro) has been performing the guitar work with flair and acumen since 2004. The question for me is how is Mr. Dokken fairing these days? Well, I'd say his is voice generally strong but growing a little rougher with age. And then what about this album?

Frankly, I think it's pretty good overall though it's not going to inspire as quickly as the early works. The work is rounded out with straight melodic hard rock featuring Dokken's well-known and professional vocals and the solid guitar licks of Mr. Levin. As for the songs, I particularly enjoyed the opener 'Standing On The Outside' and 'Disease,' both fine rockers. The ballad 'How I Miss Your Smile' seems to give Mr. Dokken some relief from the heavier stuff for he sounds smoother and more in control. But then there is the almost dreary 'Oasis;' I couldn't tell if this was to be a somber rocker or another ballad. The band rebounds quickly on 'Point Of No Return' and 'Judgment Day.' And 'I Remember' is another fine ballad.

I've been a fan of Dokken since the early George Lynch days. It's great to see them back once again. However, it doesn't return me to their heyday; and though I love Don Dokken's vocals, I've always been a fan because of the guitar work. If only for this reason (and some better than average song composition), I was pleasantly surprised. Fans should be pleased. Recommended!

In Short

'Lightning Strikes Again' is a surprisingly pleasing work from Don Dokken and company. It's solid melodic hard rock with some stinging guitar work. However, Mr. Dokken's voice is aging (gracefully, I might add) and seems strained at times. Yet, on a whole, this album is worth your interest.

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