Album Reviews
Band: Whitesnake

Title: Flesh & Blood

Label: Frontiers Music Srl

 

So, here it is, the 13th album from Mr Coverdale's Whitesnake and no two albums featuring the same line-up ... gotta keep things fresh ya know!!.

With a staggering 13 tracks, supposedly "all killer, no filler" you would be forgiven for thinking this is gonna be the BEST Whitesnake album since "1987" ... unfortunately you would be incorrect. Don't get me wrong, considering the deterioration in his voice, he is 67 years old, there is some good songwriting on here.

Kicking off with "Good To See You Again", a dirty blues number with an abundance of slide guitar and the Cov's grittier, lower register vocal, it's all reminiscent of early Whitesnake albums when the Moody/Marsden partnership worked their blues magic.

"Gonna Be Alright" a mid-tempo rocker that has touches of Zeppelin, nice melodies with an almost hippy-esque feel. Next up is "Shut Up and Kiss Me", a solid, rockin' tune with a catchy chorus and those familiar Cov-erisms, the closest any track on the album will get to the heights of "1987".

We then have "Hey You (you make me rock)" a thrusting song with vocal overtones reminiscent of Zeppelin once again. You can imagine this being a staple in the live set to get the audience singing along.  "Always and Forever" has a bit of a Thin Lizzy vibe to it and if you close your eyes you can see the classic Lizzy line-up playing this one.

And so to "When I Think Of You (Color Me Blue)", a bit of a power ballad, the guitar line is reminiscent of The Deeper The Love. Coverdale's vocals are quite lush on here, not as strong as in the past but the tone is still there.

"Trouble Is Your Middle Name" has a catchy chorus and great guitar work from Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra.  The title track "Flesh & Blood" comes on like the bastard relation of Thunder and The Cult with a classic Whitesnake feel to it. It's that hard edge and it's got groove!  "Well I Never" brings back that early Whitesnake era feel, a mid-tempo, blues groove nailing down the whole song.

We're then onto "Heart Of Stone", slow and easy with the Cov practically talking the verses before we get to the chorus, and I've gotta say Michael Devin is an under-rated bass player as he weaves the notes around this song and a blistering solo from Reb Beach.

It's chicken-picking time as the guitars introduce us to "Get Up", a rousing, all guns blazing blues-fuelled rocker.  "After All" is up next, a rather folky, yes I said FOLKY, song with blues tinges. Completely different from anything else on this album but a rather delightful tune.

Closing the album is the 6+mins "Sands Of Time", once again we're in Zeppelin territory, imagine Judgement Day and you're on the right track, a big song to finish off a big album. 

Coverdale's vocals are a long way from his peak as the 80's rock god but he has managed them well on here. The voice still has that same attitude and breathy presence ... BUT, I think this album should be his swansong. The band on here have to be commended, they are all excellent musicians and there's an energy and passion about their playing.  

This a good solid album, and if it weren't for Coverdale's vocals it probably would've been the best since Slip Of The Tongue ... and on that note we shall leave it.

Review by: Dave Brass

 

Tracklisting:

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

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