EMI, 2011

REVIEW BY: Mark Millan


A few years ago, when David Coverdale reignited the flame that was Whitesnake, he freely admitted that he was unsure as to how much life was left in the band and the brand.  A new lineup and a batch of fresh material (2008’s Good To Be Bad) seemed to breathe new life into the Snake, and more importantly, the main man himself.  He needn’t have worried about how far he could take it, though, because since then, the band has gone from strength to strength touring the world, headlining festivals and replenishing their catalogue with new live albums and DVDs and the obligatory compilation releases, too. 

So striking while the iron is hot, Coverdale and his partner in crime Doug Aldrich (guitars) set about writing a new record that they hoped would recall the glory days of the Snake as well as keeping the current band in the headlines for all the right reasons.  In this I can tell you they have succeeded completely, and along with Michael McIntyre, they have produced one of the best albums in the Whitesnake cannon.  Filling out the lineup is Reb Beach (guitars), Michael Devin (bass) and Brian Tichy (drums) with some additional help from Timothy Drury (keys) and Jasper Coverdale on some nice harmony vocals with his old man.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This small gathering of old and new heads has clearly inspired all involved, as Forevermore is one cracking heavy-hitting album.  Dave’s voice is still powerful enough to handle anything here, whether it’s the frenetic rocker “Dogs In The Street” or the melancholic love song “Fare Thee Well.”  Highlights are a-plenty, beginning with opener “Steal Your Heart Away,” which instantly becomes a stone cold Snake classic due to the massive, shredding riffs and Coverdale’s vital delivery (which is perfectly mixed here and throughout the record). 

The laidback groove of “Easier Said Than Done” hits the right spot, as does the wicked sleaze-rock of “Whipping Boy Blues.”  “Tell Me How” is big, bad and bombastic (just the way we fans like it) and it reminds me that the Whitesnake of the ‘80s was better than most would care to admit.  The acoustically based “One Of These Days” is a nice change of pace, and it’s another chance for Coverdale to prove he can still cut it with the best of them.  A couple of personal favorites of mine, “All Out Of Luck” and “Love Will Set You Free,” add some heart and soul to the proceedings and keep the whole thing honest.

“Love & Treat Me Right” is full of swagger and although its not one of the standouts, it is still a solid song that holds up to repeated plays.  The most bluesy (or should I say, the most ‘70s sounding track) song on the album, “I Need You (Shine A Light),” is a fine example of powerful blues rock, even if the lyrics are riddled with clichés of yesteryear.  The album closes out with the bad-boy boogie of “My Evil Ways” and the beautiful and epic “Forevermore” that really is Coverdale’s crowning glory on this fantastic collection of songs. 

Yes, the nod to Led Zep is notable a few times, and the occasional dip into the hair-rock of the 1980s is unavoidable, but none of this must take away from the fact the Forevermore is a completely satisfying experience and a grand statement from one of rock’s grandest men.

Rating: A-

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© 2011 Mark Millan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of EMI, and is used for informational purposes only.