After celebrating their 40th anniversary, Whitesnake return with their new album FLESH & BLOOD.
The 13 track album of new tracks is also their 13th Studio album, following on from 2015’s ‘The Purple Album’ and their 2011 album ‘Forevermore’.
‘Good To See You Again’ is a strong opener, very typical Whitesnake packing in the riffs and the keys and drumming all very tidy and tight. Nice bluesy feel to the slide guitar too. Coverdale sounds good, a very nice start! ‘Gonna Be Alright’ reminds me to start with of Def Leppard but that isn’t a negative thing at all. Layers of vocals, catchy melody and solid drumming, the rhythm hooks you in and swallows you up with the guitars.
‘Shut Up & Kiss Me’ – the opening riffs are soaring and it has a very 80’s hair metal feel. I must say when it was released as a single, I didn’t get it to start with but it has grown on me. ‘Hey You (You Make Me Rock’) has echoes of classic Whitesnake but I’m not struck by the chorus as much as the verses where Coverdale can dig low and let that lovely smoothness flow. Some nice soaring riffs sounding very clean.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKMwGzOmtsE&w=560&h=315]
‘Always & Forever’ allows the vocal from David to take more of a centre stage and I do like it when he takes it down a level and you can hear that smoky blues tone in his voice. ‘When I Think of You (Colour Me Blue)’ is a much a slower song with a pretty delicious opening guitar solo and one which again doesn’t push Coverdale’s voice to its limit. Nice lyrics and a richness to the overall feeling of the song. There is also a lovely understated riff running through the back, it’s close to being my favourite on the album. ‘Trouble Is Your Middle Name’ has a lovely vibe to it, bluesy vocal in the verses again before the catchy chorus and nimble soaring riffs flood through. I was singing this one in my head way after the album finished.
The title track ‘Flesh & Blood’ riddled with riffage and a strong bassline rumbling through. I like the way the riffs climb, a very good track, perfect with its start / stops allowing the riffs to rip into your ears. The dual guitar harmonies are prevalent and add to the whole tone. Coverdale’s vocal is again more measured and it all works together very well.
‘Well I Never’, a heavier song again vibing to classic Whitesnake in its depth of the music. Best vocal on the album for me too, Mr Coverdale can still sing, that low tone he has just buckles my knees. Nice gang chants, smoking hot riffs, yep this one has me hooked.
‘Heart of Stone’ ooohh! that low vocal…melting, a slow tempo with the vocal taking centre stage before a smoking hot riff explodes through reminding you of the presence of a riff master in the midst of things. Yes Mr Coverdale, this is a superb vocal from you.
‘Get Up’ fast paced and such a contrast to the previous track. Warbling riffs, more prevalent keys, it’s another demonstration of the skilled musicians that are Whitesnake. ‘After All’ a clean acoustic guitar opens, a lightness to the melody, layers of vocals sounding tight and clear. After the masterful riffage and punchy drumming of the other tracks, this has a very different feel, it works.
‘Sands of Time’ has big punchy drums which I’m sure live will knock your teeth out. I love the orchestral tones running in the background. The layers of vocals add a great deal too.
There are 5 bonus tracks on some formats of the CD including a very lovely ‘Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong’ flooding your senses with blues which does transport me back to the early Whitesnake albums. A lazy pace but the guitar solos are far from lazy, they are easy, smooth and seductive.
‘If I Can’t Have You’ snarling, growling dirty guitars, an equally snarly vocal from Coverdale which he then melts into chocolate yet again, I like the tonal changes, the arrangement is good.
‘Gonna Be Alright’ (X-Tendo Mix and Sands of Time (Radio Mix) are nice additions to the Bonus edition of the album too plus there is also the video mix of ‘Shut Up & Kiss Me’
Overall I like the album. There some good solid songs, nice riffs and musicality from the band – the talent is clear with each of them and David’s vocal is like the finest wine, the smoothest chocolate that you can get and his bluesy vocals are still on the money. To still be blasting out the power that he did in his prime is unrealistic and these songs seem to have been thought about and written well to allow him to keep within the range he is best with and this ensures that the album is very listenable.
Joel Hoeskstra has co–written six of the tracks with Mr Coverdale and Reb Beach has co-written five songs on this, the fourth studio album he has appeared on. ‘Forevermore’ saw the first appearance of bassist Michael Devin who is more than able to hold things together on these songs. The irreplaceable Tommy Aldridge has been in Whitesnake one way or another for 30 years debuting back in 1987 and he is still a powerhouse. Italian keyboard wizard and an accomplished singer in his own right Michele Luppi, who joined the band in 2015 adds so much value to the tracks, his vocals and those of the other members allow the band to continue to tour and perform live. Of course, this would not be Whitesnake without David Coverdale and it appears that he still has an insatiable hunger for Rock and roll, still writing, still touring and still giving it all 100%.
Bring on Download!
Review by Lindsay Smith for metalplanetmusic
Flesh & Blood” will be released via Frontiers Music Srl in multiple formats. See below for full details. +CD (Jewel Case) +CD+DVD Deluxe Edition (Digipak) – Includes two studio bonus tracks on CD. DVD includes “Shut Up & Kiss Me” (classic jag version) (VIDEOCLIP), “Shut Up & Kiss Me” (club mix version) (VIDEOCLIP), Behind the Scenes of ‘Flesh & Blood’ VIDEO + 3 DVD Audio Tracks (Remixes of album tracks) +Super Luxury Boxset – Includes CD+DVD Deluxe Edition, 2xLP Standard Color LP, Poster, Numbered Lithograph, Box Set +2xLP – Black, 180g, Gatefold (Worldwide) +2xLP – Silver, 180g, Gatefold (Frontiers’ U.S. Store Exclusive) – Limited to 300 Copies +2xLP – Gold, 180g, Gatefold (Whitesnake UK Store Exclusive) – Limited to 500 Copies +2xLP – Red, 180g, Gatefold (Frontiers’ EU Store Exclusive) Tracklist CD / 2xLP: 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 Bonus Tracks Appearing on CD+DVD Deluxe Edition and Digital Version: 14. Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong (Bonus Track – New Studio Song) 15. If I Can’t Have You (Bonus Track – New Studio Song) 16. Gonna Be Alright (X-Tendo Mix) – DVD Audio Track 17. Sands Of Time (Radio Mix) – DVD Audio Track 18. Shut Up And Kiss Me (Video Mix) – DVD Audio Track Mixed by Christopher Collier Produced by Beach, Hoekstra & McIntyre Executive Producer: David Coverdale Web: http://www.whitesnake.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whitesnake/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Whitesnake.o… Twitter: https://twitter.com/Whitesnake | https://twitter.com/davidcoverdale