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The Doobie Brothers - 'World Gone Crazy' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ee/de/62/830_TheDoobieBrothersWorldGoneCrazy_1290545740.jpg Hot

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A great return to form for the legendary band.

For fans of the Doobie Brothers it’s been a long 10 year wait since the bands last studio release ‘Sibling Rivalry’. Pat Simmons, Tom Johnstone, John McFee and Mike Hossack reunite with long time producer Ted Templeman to release their latest offering ‘World Gone Crazy’.

The subdued gospel overtones of ‘A Brighter Day’ start things off and its clear Tom Johnstone has lost none of his distinctive vocal abilities. Listening to a Doobie Brothers album is like revisiting an old friend and it’s much the same here, the band stick to the formula of ‘if its not broke don’t fix it’ to fine results. ‘Chateau’ leans heavily on the formula of the bands comeback single ‘The Doctor’ and it’s this style of writing that always works for the band. The Guitars take centre stage and the strong chorus takes us back in time to the glorious 70s heyday of the band.

Some fine steel guitar introduces us to new single ‘Nobody’, which has a strong country rock style and as always some wonderful vocal harmonies on the chorus. Much like Lynyrd Skynyrd there are so few bands that can pull this style of music off with any conviction. What is apparent after only a few spins is that the songs really get under your skin and its clear the guys have put some serious time and effort into the song writing.
Title track ‘World Gone Crazy’ has the feel good factor including a spot on saxophone solo all wrapped up in a rock‘n’roll line dancing rhythm that has you reaching for your Stetson and cowboy boots! ‘Far From Home,’ with its lullaby vocals, is very reminiscent of America and mid 70s Beach Boys, its pure magic to your ears with some lush harmonies on offer.

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If like me you favour the Michael McDonald era of the band then ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ featuring the man himself will keep you happy. There is a strong Latin flavour to the song not to dissimilar to some of Greg Rolies solo work. Some lovely Jazz piano gives the song a feel very reminiscent of Steely Dan, a band that Michael McDonald worked with in the past. Depending on your preference regarding the bands two main eras this is a standout track.
The blues work out ‘My baby’ is pleasant but somewhat predictable song that, lets face it, the band can write in their sleep.
Keeping with the strong Latin flavour ‘Old Jaurez’ owes more than a nod to Santana, but don’t take that as a put down. In the hands of the Doobie Brothers the guys add their distinctive style and the song is their own.

Country legend Willie Nelson adds his touch to ‘I Know We Won’, a song I did not expect to like, I find country very hit or miss for my tastes but the beauty of the melody certainly pulls on the heart strings.

To add to the value of this release there is a 30 minute dvd which includes videos of the singles ‘Nobody’ and ‘I Know We Won’ featuring Willie Nelson. There is a short band history, including live footage, plus the band fooling around by the famous Doobie Liner aeroplane. In all a great return to form for the legendary band, my one criticism is the abstract artwork and the lack of the classic eagle band logo makes the cover very easy to miss.

Ray Paul

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