Dokken - 'Broken Bones'
1.) “Empire” - Jon kicks this intro off with a short pick slide. You can definitely tell by the rhythm guitar riff Jon wrote for the intro that this was a Dokken song. Jon double-tracked a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main body of the intro. underneath the rhythm guitar riff and bass line Mick plays a snare drum fill to connect the intro with the musical verse. Underneath the lyrics of the musical verse Jon basically plays fill-in chords. Don carries the last vocal note of each lyric line out accenting his vocals. Lyric lines one, two, four & five have backing harmonies underneath Don's vocal lines. There is an intense minor solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. There is a small snare fill underneath the last few notes of the minor solo. After the second chorus there was a drastic musical change that led to the major lead guitar solo. Mick switched from a single bass drum pattern to a double bass drum pattern for the drum line underneath the major lead guitar solo. The tail end of the lead guitar solo was huge!!!!
2.) “Broken Bones” - The guitar sound Jon chose for the intro of this track reminded me a lot of the guitar sound George used on Dokken's 'Dysfunctional' released on May 23, 1995. Over the top of the second measure Don begins singing the verse. In between the fourth lyric line and the rhythm guitar arrangement Jon double-tracked a small lead guitar lick. There is a second lead guitar lick underneath the sixth lyric line. It's at this point the song kicks-in. Scattered throughout the pre-chorus there are several overdubbed lead guitar licks. There is a small tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the chorus. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. The hook of the chorus has a classic Dokken sound. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the chorus with the second verse. For the second verse there is a small lead guitar lick in between the second and third, the fourth and fifth and after the sixth lyric lines of the second verse. The lead guitar solo is after the third chorus. After the solo there is a small breakdown section. There is a lead guitar lick underneath Don's vocals of the last chorus. The coda consisted of a single rhythm guitar.
3.) “Best of Me” - This track opens with a fairly standard hard rock intro arrangement. Mick's drum line consisted of a cowbell percussion section. Jon not only changed the rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse however, he overdubbed one on top of the other. One of the rhythm's is a picking arrangement and the second is fill-in chords. There is a lead lick connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The lyric arrangement of the musical chorus was reminiscent to the hooks Don wrote on his solo release titled, 'Up From The Ashes'. There is a minor lead guitar lick underneath the lyric lines of the chorus. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath Don's vocals of the second chorus. This lead to the lead guitar solo section. The lead guitar solo was very short however there are so many minor lead guitar solo runs that the major the guitar solo doesn't have to be that long. The coda consisted of a chorus which had a minor lead guitar solo underneath it.
4.) “Blind” - Jon opened this intro section with a small pick slide. There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main body of the intro section. The band used the same rhythm riff of the musical verse as the one for the musical intro. There was a small rhythm change underneath the musical chorus. Laced in between and underneath the lyric lines of the chorus are little minor lead guitar solos. The major lead guitar solo is after the second chorus.
5.) “Waterfall” -This intro consisted of the rhythm guitar and the bass playing the same arrangement. The band used the same rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro. There is a backing vocal harmony underneath Don's vocals of the lyrical chorus. The lead guitar solo is after the second chorus. All-in all there just is not much going on in this song. If it had of been me I would have left it off of the release. It just doesn't fit.
6.) “Victim of the Crime” - This intro opens with the effects of someone strumming a sitar. The main intro had a very basic sound to it. There is a sitar effect connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. Don's vocal lines were very reminiscent to some of the vocal lines he sang on Dokken's 1995 release 'Dysfunctional'. The music arrangement change of the musical verse had a very Arabic feel to it. There is a small arrangement change for the musical verse. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The major solo is after the second chorus. There is a second minor solo over the top of the coda.
7.) “Burning Tears” - This intro opens with an amplified acoustic guitar arrangement. There is a minor electric guitar solo over the top of the acoustic guitar arrangement. There is a electric guitar rhythm change for the musical verse. Jon used the amplified acoustic rhythm of the intro underneath Don's vocal lines of the verse. For the musical chorus Jon kicked-in an electric guitar rhythm. There is a short lead lick after the first chorus. The major lead guitar solo is after the second chorus.
8.) “Today” - This may be the best well written ballad the guys have wrote in a very long time!
9.) “For the Last Time” - The acoustic guitar arrangements make this song standout!
10.) “Fade Away” -This track opens with a fairly basic intro arrangement. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the intro with the musical verse. There is a musical arrangement change for the musical verse. For the musical verse Jon basically plays fill-in chords. There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lyric lines of the musical pre-chorus. The major solo is after the first chorus. After the solo there is a short breakdown section.
11.) “Tonight" - All in all this was a fairly straight forward newer Dokken sounded song.
Over the last few years several staff members at Blast Magazine have said Don's vocals have deteriorated during his live performances.**editors note: alcohol & cigarettes will do that** (However I've heard since any of our staff as seen Don live. He had vocal surgery to correct problems with his nodes and tears in his vocal chords that he passed on two years ago).
As a Dokken fan since their 'Tooth And Nail' release I really had no issue with the second firing of George Lynch in 1997. I still feel, and this is nothing personal that he was a big part of their burnt-out sound. The years after Georges firing between 1997-2003 the guitar position was like a revolving door at Macy's department store which including guitarist such as, John Norum (Europe, Don Dokken solo), Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), and Alex De Rosso. In 2003, Don and Mick hired guitarist Jon Levin (Warlock, Doro) who has been a full-time member since 2004 and is featured on the last three releases titled, 'Hell To Pay' (2004), 'Lightning Strikes Again' (2008), and 'Broken Bones' (2012). In 2001 bassist Jeff Pilson made the decision to leave to work on his solo project called War & Peace and eventually joining the seventies band Foreigner.
The last couple releases have been very subpar. So when I received 'Broken Bones' I was expecting more of the same. However that's not the case 'Broken Bones' reminded me a lot of their 'Back For The Attack' release. Which as a longtime fan very refreshing. I would definitely recommend this release to all Dokken fans.