The Doobie Brothers: World Gone Crazy (Shock)

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The Doobie Brothers: Law Dogs
The Doobie Brothers: World Gone Crazy (Shock)

The Doobies' great Listen to the Music, Long Train Running and China Grove in the late 60s/early 70s were driven by urgent guitars and hammering keyboards delivering a forward momentum (which denied the stoner reference of their chosen name).

But surely no old fans could fall for the limp, lame and geriatric opener here A Brighter Day (with steel drums and, of all things, a narrative) or the cliched follow-up Chateau.

The third track in Nobody – which remakes the version on their debut album to replicate the energy of Listen to the Music and with founder Tom Johnston's distinctive guitar – might get hopes up, but even the most charitable would admit this, the first Doobies' album under their name in 10 years, is at its best when it echoes former greatness.

Then there is all the rest, including the weirdly bad and quavering ballad I Know We Won with Willie Nelson. The mawkish ballads (the awful, sentimental Far From Home and worse Little Prayer) remind you why former vocalist Michael McDonald left for a career in equally vacuous nonsense – and he returns for crafted but emotionally empty Don't Say Goodbye, which is his forte.

The Bob Seger-like Young Man's Game, Cuban-influenced Old Juarez (which deserves a Santana guitar part) and the alt.country/slide guitar Law Dogs (with Little Feat's Bill Payne on keyboards) are worth investigating.

But overall, this long train has long since run.

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martin - Jan 30, 2011

You've obviously heard a different album to the one I've got! World Gone Crazy is a mature piece that echoes of life experience. The Doobies wrote China Grove 30 odd years ago because they were 30 odd years younger! WGC doesn't sound like they were trying to recapture bygone glory days and nor should it. The Willie Nelson and Michael Mcdonald collaborations are the weakest links on the album but for me the rest of it is pretty good.

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