On May 10, 2019, "Whitesnake" released her 13th studio album "Flesh & Blood".
As you already know, "Whitesnake" has long been David Coverdale's backing band. But despite this and perhaps precisely in light of this, we get the same familiar formula since the album "1987" in "Flesh & Blood", i.e., a balanced and correct dose between sharpened and catchy riffs, simple and meticulous melodies, stadium anthems and rock ballads.
To the credit of Coverdale it will be said, that he is a wizard in selecting gifted guitarists who also serve as his partners in writing. He did this with John Sykes on the classic album "1987", he did it with Adrian Vandenberg on the subsequent album "Slip of the Tongue" and he collaborated with Doug Aldrich on the albums "Good to be Bad" and "Forevermore".
This time Coverdale chose guitarist Joel Hoekstra who joined the band in 2014 and has since proven himself as a supreme grace player, and now also as a talented songwriter who co-wrote 6 of the 13 songs on the album, with Coverdale.
Speaking of talented guitarists, it is impossible not to mention Reb Beach, who has been in the band since 2002 and whose abilities can not be argued. Beach co-wrote 5 more songs with Coverdale and also serves as a mentor, guiding the band members on how to realize Coverdale’s musical vision.
There is no doubt that the Hoekstra and Beach duo complement each other and make up together what seems to be the best pair of guitarists "Whitesnake" has had in many years.
Also playing in this excellent lineup is bassist Michael Devin who joined the band on the album "Forevermore", veteran drummer Tommy Aldridge, who has been with "Whitesnake" one way or another for 30 of it's more than 40 years, and keyboardist Michele Luppi, who joined the band during the "The Purple Tour" in 2015.
So like we said, the album has a pretty balanced dose of heavier and more rhythmic songs like: "Trouble Is Your Middle Name", "Well I Never" and "Get Up", as opposed to slower and softer songs like: "When I Think of You (Color Me Blue)" "After All", "Heart of Stone".
(Photo: Whitesnake on Twitter)
Symbolically the album opens with the song "Good To See You Again", and indeed how good it is to see this band create new material for the first time, eight years after their previous studio album, "Forevermore". The album's opening song includes a strong and catchy guitar riff with a typical guitar slide and strong and powerful vocals by Coverdale.
Here is the place to point out that Coverdale's voice has hardly changed and still sounds great, even from the height of his 67 years of this powerful and charismatic singer.
The song "Shut Up & Kiss Me" was chosen to serve as the first single the band chose to release from the album, and the reasons for this are understandable. This song turns out to be one of the most catchy on the album. The passage section in the song sounds really familiar and after a few plays the token fell that the melody there is reminiscent of Judas Priest's famous riff in the song "Electric Eye".
This is not the only time that tracks on the album sound like other known songs. For example, the chorus in the song "Hey You (You Make Me Rock)", which is also one of the strongest on the album, is reminiscent of the melody in Def Leppard's song "Rocket". The excellent track that closes the album "Sands Of Time" sounds like a combination of "Kashmir" and "Stargazer" with the influence of oriental motifs.
It may sound strange, but these do not detract from the high writing level of this album, but rather the opposite. The references and gestures to the classic and immortal songs are always "near" and in a low dose, so that they do not sound like a copy, and therefore constitute "added value" that pushes the songs forward.
The album includes 13 tracks in the regular version and 18 tracks in the deluxe version that unfolds over 82:58 minutes.
The deluxe version includes 5 additional bonus tracks, including 3 mix versions of songs from the album and two more new songs, which were not included in the regular version of the record. Particularly notable is the song "Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong", an excellent blues-rock song with beautiful guitar work, which surpasses in level even some of the songs on the album itself.
In conclusion, Coverdale has not recreated anything for us on this album. He's doing pretty much what he's done in 30 of the last 41 years of the band activity, but he's doing it great, and it's fun and it's good !!!
The album Flesh & Blood "is a successful" comeback "of Whitesnake, after so many years without new original material. It is a classic hard rock album, containing more than one stadium anthem, which will make you hum it after listening to it for the first time. So maybe the album This one does not reach the level of the band's masterpieces, but it certainly includes enough good moments to fulfill the expectations of one of the most iconic and oldest bands in the hard rock scene.