Album Releases Album Reviews CD Releases

Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood review

Released By: Frontiers Records
Release Date: May 10, 2019
Genre: Hard Rock

Members:
David Coverdale / vocals
Reb Beach / guitar
Joel Hoekstra / guitar
Michael Devin / bass
Tommy Aldridge / drums
Michele Luppi / keyboards

Track-Listing:

  1. Good To See You Again
  2. Gonna Be Alright
  3. Shut Up & Kiss Me
  4. Hey You (You Make Me Rock)
  5. Always & Forever
  6. When I Think Of You (Color Me Blue)
  7. Trouble Is Your Middle Name
  8. Flesh & Blood
  9. Well I Never
  10. Heart Of Stone
  11. Get Up
  12. After All
  13. Sands Of Time

There’s been a lot of murmur about this album over the last few months. Rumours that Flesh & Blood sees Whitesnake return wholeheartedly to the era that made them one of the biggest acts on earth thanks in no small part to the MTV friendly videos that accompanies the seminal ‘1987’ album.

Over the last few years, live shows have increased and the band, as we write this, are currently out on tour in the US in support of the new album. Age old fans who saw Whitesnake in their prime have moaned about the amount of time DC spends on stage, with him managing his voice carefully to essentially give around an hour’s worth of singing in a 90 minute set. The remainder, filled up with soaring guitar solos and drum solos reminds us of the calibre of the musicians surrounding Sir David but also serve to remind us of the fragility of the great man’s voice. As such, has the voice held up on these new 13 tracks?

In short the answer is yes. Studio time gives the vocalist a lot more time and room to deliver the goods and it’s a place that Coverdale has once again found the essence of the band. It’s not a natural successor to 1987, feeling more like and extension of ‘Good To Be Bad’ from 2008. That, in my opinion is no bad thing, GTBB was a great album, a real return for Whitesnake and whilst the follow up Forevermore did little to hold my interest and the less said about The Purple Album the better, Flesh & Blood will reawaken the fans that were beginning to think perhaps it was time to draw a line under everything.

In Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach form the perfect duo in the band. Previous iterations of Whitesnake have always seemed to favour one guitarist over the rest whereas this release and indeed the live shows gives both men equal time in the spotlight.

Of course it never hurts to get a view from the man himself so have a listen to this before we continue….

Coverdale’s voice isn’t necessarily hitting the ceiling like it could 30 years ago but then again the key point is ’30 years ago’. We have an annoying habit of assuming our rock gods never age and then get annoyed ourselves when they do. What DC has managed to do is find a range that suits the music perfectly and whilst the playing is circa 1987 in style, the vocal performance harks back to the early 80s and feels more bluesy in tone.

Some of the tracks give it a little more on the Richter scale and of those, lead single ‘Shut Up & Kiss Me’ does everything it can to bring thoughts of that classic late 80s era back to the mind of the listener. Heck, the video even contains the same white Jaguar and DC’s jacket from the ‘Here I Go Again’ video. It makes you all misty eyed for the glory days of MTV.

‘Trouble Is Your Middle Name’, the aforementioned ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me’, and ‘Get Up’ are the belters of old that we’ve come to expect from the band. ‘After All’ is by far the least heavy on the album but isn’t really in the same league as ‘Is This Love?’ ‘Heart of Stone’ offers up the blues feel of early Whitesnake and that will help keep some of the old guard happy as well album.

The album cover tells you as much as the music does. It’s a Whitesnake album, it’s a Whitesnake cover. Everything is done to make the listener feel as at home as is possible The 13 songs on offer don’t take the band in a new direction but instead pay homage to what has come before with the knowledge that there is at least one new generation of fans that can be hooked into their music from the off. The tour gives families the opportunity to take in one of the best acts of the 80s and every household needs to do that at least once!

Tour dates can be found here:

https://whitesnake.com/back-with-a-vengeance-in-2019/

SCORE 8\10

Review by Adrian Hextall


Tell Us How You Feel

Comments