Don and the boys are back with another serving of Rock. This time around the only two original members left are Don and Mick Brown. Now on board is guitarist Jon Levin and bassist extraordinaire Barry Sparks. “The Last Goodbye” is a Hard Rock number that is loud, but it's a bit laid back and has a bit of an Alternative feel. It's nothing like they have done in the past. It's a more mature direction for the band.
The highlight here is not only Mick's unique brand of drumming, but Jon Levin's guitar work. He works the fret boards like no other and his solo on here shows that the man can play. After that so so piece, we get into the Rock realm full tilt with “Don't Bring Me Down” Mick bashes the skins like only he can and he even does a little double bass action like the days of old. The track has a hell of a lot more fuel than the opener which could be considered a throw away track. Don's voice is in vintage form and the fans are all winners here as we get the DOKKEN of the past. Jon once again shines with his tremendous finger skills.
Don and company move from the 80's style of composition to the mid 90's era of the band with “Escape”. It's not as memorable as the past, but the track mixes Alternative with Hard Rock which is still heavy, but not quite the same. It has the feel of the “Dysfunctional” album. This an ok track. “Haunted” is more modern in terms of sound is much heavier than their previous work. The guitars especially contain a lot of bite. DOKKEN has always been one to write a decent ballad and “Care For You” is no exception. After the ups and downs between Rock and Alternative, we arrive at a beautiful ballad that is nowhere as cheesy as the ballads from the past. This one is more mature sounding including piano. This is a true stand out track. Once again, the guys for the Nu-Rock sound with “Better Off Before”.'
The guitar riffs here have the vibe of SOIL. It's not bad, but you can tell that the band is trying to keep up with the times and do what the flavour of the month is. It's a decent track, but not original. In the end, we are left with an album that contains half decent tracks and half throw-aways. The band has forever moved into another direction that I am not quite sure people are going to want to continue to embark on. If you ask me, time to toss in the towel. (Online November 22, 2004)