Thursday, November 9, 2023

DOKKEN: "Heaven Comes Down"

Label: Frontiers

Rating: RRR

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

The new album from Dokken is better than I expected, but then again, I didn't expect much. There are a few solid songs on it, but a certain kind of blandness or flatness stops them from rising to the next level. With Don Dokken's diminished range, the melodies can't really take off like they used to do in classic Dokken songs, but he does his best with what he's got. He's been through all kinds of trouble, so all things considered, he doesn't sound that bad.

It's strange that the opener and first single is "Fugitive", where Don's voice sounds very rough. He does much better on most of the other songs, and Mark Boals' soaring background vocals enhance the choruses. Guitarist Jon Levin has to be mentioned too, his guitar work is very much in the vein of vintage Dokken.

My favourite song is the ballad "I'll Never Give Up", the other power ballad "I Remember" is pretty good too. "Gypsy" is the strongest rocker, the likes of "Just Like A Rose" and "Over The Mountain" are decent enough, and "Lost In You" could have been a contender, it sounds like a good Dokken song played at half-speed. 

The stripped-down "Santa Fe" is a bit of a departure from the overall sound of the album, it reminds me a bit of Styx's "Boat On The River". A campfire storytelling song and quite nice actually, with a lot of warmth in Don's voice.