David Coverdale has been releasing music for 45 years. And not just rehashes or remixes of old music (which he is also doing and doing a brilliant job at it, with all the demos and works in progress recordings), but new music as well.
I didn’t think I would enjoy “Flesh And Blood”, as I didn’t really get into “Forevermore”, expect for the title track and I can’t really remember a track from “Good To Be Bad”. But on “Flesh And Blood”, Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra deliver, and along with Coverdale, they wrote some good tunes.
Now if you are picking this up to hear Coverdale sing like he did in the 80’s, it ain’t gonna happen. His voice has aged and he sings to his constraints.
“Shut Up And Kiss Me” has got some serious riffage (the song is written by Reb Beach and David Coverdale) and as I mentioned, DC’s vocals are changing as he gets older, he still delivers a sleazy bluesy verse and an anthemic chorus. But it’s the music which hooks me in, and that section with the lyric line “when you stand close to me” is perfect.
“Hey You (You Make Me Rock)” also has some serious riffage. This one is written by Reb Beach, Joel Hoekstra and David Coverdale. The verses have this “When The Levee Breaks” groove which is addictive and DC’s vocals sound psychedelic as he builds up into another anthemic chorus. And the lead break on this one, is as good as any lead break from the 87 album.
“Always and Forever” is written by David Coverdale. The harmony guitars and the vocal delivery remind me of Thin Lizzy, and the connection to another artist, elevates the song straight away in my book.
“When I Think Of You (Colour Me Blue)” reminds me of “Wonderful Tonight” from Eric Clapton. And again, the connection to a previous song, elevates this song. Kudos to David Coverdale for letting his influences shine through.
“Trouble Is Your Middle Name” is written by David Coverdale and Joel Hoekstra and the opening riff is enough to hook me in, while police sirens scream in the background.
How much trouble could this woman be?
And that guitar solo in the song. You need to hear it to appreciate it.
“Flesh And Blood” reminds me of “Don’t Tread” from Damn Yankees and the riffage is brilliant and the lead breaks are AAA rated.
One thing that a lot of people probably don’t know is that Coverdale is a good guitarist who has created some of the most iconic riffs ever.
You know that main riff in “Mistreated” from Deep Purple, well that was David Coverdale. You know those riffs in “Crying In The Rain”, yep, that’s David Coverdale as well. And there are many more.
“Well I Never” is another tune written by Coverdale and Hoekstra, which sounds as good as any pop song out these days.
“Heart Of Stone” is written by Coverdale and it’s a modern sounding ballad.
“Sands of Time” is written by Reb Beach and Coverdale and it’s Arabic sounding influence will draw comparisons to “Kashmir” from Led Zeppelin, but man, this song is its own beast and one of the best Whitesnake tracks out there.
Lyrically, DC does what he normally does, talking about love and relationships.
But it’s the band that rocks, and the song writing that DC does with just Reb Beach, then with Joel Hoekstra and then with both and also by himself is what makes this album a varied and enjoyable listen.
I remember reading that Vivian Campbell left Whitesnake, because he saw that DC was only interested in writing with Adrian Vandenberg for the “Slip Of The Tongue” album. Then when Doug Aldrich joined, the “Good To Be Bad” and “Forevermore” album had song writing just by DC and Aldrich.
For this one it’s back to 1984 and before versions of Whitesnake, with DC writing songs on his own as well and with DC writing songs with the other members, like the good old days.