United Artists, 1979

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


After an album that was rife with sexual braggadocio, one might find it odd to read a claim that Lovehunter, Whitesnake’s third album, backed off of the lasciviousness—especially when the front cover featured a naked woman astride a giant serpent. (In the words of the late George Carlin, you didn’t need to be Fellini to figure that one out.)

Yet on this disc, David Coverdale and crew did indeed back away (mostly) from the overtly sexual songs, and turned their focus back to the blues-based rock that could be heard on their debut effort my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Snakebite. It’s a definite improvement, but still not on par with their best work.

Oh, make no mistake, there’s still material here that delves into relations with the fairer sex—but they’re nowhere near as blunt as they were on Trouble. “Medicine Man” and the title track all deal with the pursuit of women, but the scenarios are far tamer… and while some might scream “hypocrite” as I’ve been a fan of bands like AC/DC since I was 14 years old, the difference is that Whitesnake always sounded like they were serious, while AC/DC was akin to locker room bragging.

Anyhow… where Lovehunter succeeds eventually is in the blues-based rock they became known for in the beginning of their career. Tracks such as “Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues,” “You ‘N’ Me” and “Mean Business” all illustrate the talent the band had in that regard.

Yet they could also tackle rock head-on, as evidenced by the track “Outlaw,” sung by guitarist Bernie Marsden. If anything, this song proved that Whitesnake were no mere one-trick pony in terms of vocal talent—and, with no disrespect meant to Coverdale, it’s kind of a pity they didn’t pursue such efforts further—an argument that could be made as well for the keyboard and vocal closer “We Wish You Well.”

If every track on Lovehunter had that kind of power, the disc would be unstoppable. But some efforts such as “Long Way From Home,” “Help Me Thro’ The Day” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Women,” while not bad efforts, don’t pack nearly the same punch.

Still, Lovehunter is a better effort than its predecessor, and if you can stop ogling the cover illustration, you’ll find the disc is, overall, a pleasant way to spend a good 45 minutes or so.

Rating: B-

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