I was a streamer by the time this album came out, so it felt like I purchased it.
And it didn’t feel right not finishing off the Dokken series for three more albums.
“Broken Bones” came out in 2012 on Frontiers. Mick Brown didn’t play on the album as I think he was touring with Ted Nugent at that point in time, so the drumming was handled by Jimmy DeGrasso. Joining Don Dokken and Jon Levin was new bassist Sean McNabb.
And the star of the album is Jon Levin on guitar again. His solos are excellent, songs within songs moments and he can write a mean riff. Vocally, Don Dokken sings in his lower register while Mark Boals is doing the backing vocals.
Like most of the Dokken albums released, they start off with a fast rocker. This one is more like “Till The Living End”.
Check out the guitar leads from Jon Levin on this.
What Will You Rule In The End
A Burnin Empire
“It’s Not Love” is instantly recognisable and it also reminds me of a cut from “Back For The Attack”.
An emotive lead break from Levin is a must hear.
All These Bones That Lie Within My Spirit
Broken Just Like Me
“Best of Me”
Very grungy (think “Even Flow” from Pearl Jam).
A slower groove doesn’t hide “The Hunter” influence.
At 2.48 long, it feels like an unfinished cut, a left over psychedelic track. A miss for me.
“The Victim of the Crime”
The intro is head banging material before it moves into an exotic sounding riff and groove, more Tool like. And I’m always interested when bands do these kinds of things.
The lead breaks from Levin are worthy, reminding me of a cross between Uli Jon Roth and Yngwie Malmsteen.
A haunting melodic acoustic arpeggio similar to “Alone Again” starts the song, but it’s the distorted riff which kicks in after that gets the head banging.
And Jon Levin again shines on the lead guitar here.
It started to become a trend, since “Dysfunctional” that a cover song would appear on a Dokken album. This one is from Jefferson Airplane cover, written by Marty Balin and Paul Kantner.
It feels like an inferior “From The Beginning” ELP cover they did on “Dysfunctional”. Better to be left off, but Frontier’s likes to put old songs under a new sound copyright which they control.
“For the Last Time”
Jon Levin again steals the light, with his movement from acoustic passages to full out rock and metal riffs.
It has a feel from “The Hunter” in the intro and “Dream Warriors” in the verses. Then it’s like “Stop Fighting Love” and “Will The Sun Rise”. Musically, it’s great to jam to, vocally, Don is in the lower register and its very monotonous.
But Levin shines again in the lead break.
It’s another fast rocker, to close the album with, similar to the title track in speed, but very Euro sounding, more Scorpions like. Levin just keeps shining throughout the album with another guitar hero lead break.
And make sure you check out the guitar harmony lead break to close the song and album out.
“Can’t Fight This Love”
It’s a bonus track from the cloth of “Back For The Attack”.
If you’re a Dokken fan there is something here for ya. If you’re a guitar player, you’ll be impressed by Jon Levin.
P.S. Even though some of the songs are dull, Levin’s performances are anything but dull.
P.S.S. What happened to the drum sounds on some of the albums during the 2000’s? Is it because artists are recording at home or in cheaper studios than the studios before. Is the mixing bad?
P.S.S.S. Don Dokken’s voice on this album is very monotonous and same same on each song. But he does get the job done with the help of Mark Boals.
P.S.S.S.S. Did I mention that Jon Levin is a Guitar Hero? He is.