By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
David Coverdale returns with “Flesh & Blood”, Whitesnake’s 13th studio album. He has a bag full of new songs and Tommy Aldridge, Reb Beach, Joel Hoekstra, Michael Devin and Michele Luppi backing him up.
The only constant in Whitesnake is the founder and frontman David Coverdale, who founded the band in 1978 after he left Deep Purple. Since then, he has had a lot of musicians come and go as members of Whitesnake. Among the more well-known former members are Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Cozy Powell, Don Airey, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, Adrian Vandenberg, John Sykes, Vivian Campbell, Neil Murray, Steve Vai, Doug Aldrich, Marco Mendoza and Rudy Sarzo. But they are all part of Whitesnake’s rich history. Make no mistake about it, Whitesnake is still very much alive. In the current line-up, we find legendary drummer Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Blue Murder, Ted Nugent), who first joined the band in the 1980s, as well as guitarists Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken, Alice Cooper) and Joel Hoekstra (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Night Ranger, Cher), bassist Michael Devin (Lynch Mob) and keyboardist Michele Luppi (Secret Sphere, Vision Divine). Coverdale knows how to attract world-class musicians that can back up his Whitesnake vision. The current line-up is no exception. As was the case with some of the earlier line-ups, Coverdale has taken advantage of his band members’ songwriting skills. Great songs and a great band topped off with Coverdale’s voice which is still very much intact.
Style wise we get a bit of everything on “Flesh & Blood”, Whitesnake’s 13th studio album and its 13 original tracks – from blues-rock reminding us of the band’s early days, via the kind of melodic hair metal and power ballads that we heard on the “1987” album, to more mature rock. “Flesh & Blood” is essentially a radio-friendly grown-up rock album.
The album opens with “Good To See You Again”, a typical Whitesnake take on melodic hard rock. “Shut Up & Kiss Me” is good fun and the song is backed up by a recently released video with some hints of the classic Whitesnake videos from the MTV era of the late 80s. Blues rocker “Trouble is Your Middle Name” is a standout track and so is another bluesy hard rock song called “Get Up”. The title track “Flesh & Blood” is another great one which has some serious groove. “Heart of Stone”, which has Coverdale almost talking his way through the verses, is a splendid song. “Well I Never” is a modern take on Whitesnake’s classic sound – but with quite a different approach to the song delivery – and it works great. The ballad “After All” is a terrific singer-songwriter type of song with some Beatles vibes and quite different from the music that Whitesnake would normally do. The massive rocker “Sands of Time” is my favourite track on the album, not least because of the fine guitar work. Some editions of the album also include the fabulous bonus tracks “Can’t Do Right for Doing Wrong” and “If I Can’t Have You”, two tracks that fans should not miss. The Japanese edition comes with an alternative mix of “After All” as a bonus track.
Whitesnake’s album “Flesh & Blood” will be released on 10th May via Ward Records in Japan and Frontiers Music internationally.