David Coverdale is back once again. When Whitesnake released their last album Bad to Be Good in 2008 it was their first studio album of new material since the average Slip of the Tongue in 1989. At the time, Bad to Be Good was rumoured to be their last, though the band went on a strong tour to support it; a double-headline tour with Def Leppard and playing as special guests to Leppard at the Download Festival (at Donington Park) in 2009. Perhaps it’s this resurgence in popularity, maybe they just damned well enjoyed themselves, but whatever the reason: Whitesnake have a new album.
With the previous album the lineup of musicians was completely new from that of their classic 80s era, and for new album Forevermore Coverdale has kept guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach, but bassist Uriah Duffy and drummer Chris Frazier have been replaced by Michael Devin and Brian Tichy, respectively. Considering Coverdale’s revolving door policy when it comes to Whitesnake, this release is the first time the band sounds truly cohesive since the Come and Get It / Slide It In days. To most fans David Coverdale is Whitesnake and it almost doesn’t matter who is in the band. However that would be doing current guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach in particular a dis-service as their playing here is exemplary.
Forevermore starts with ‘Steal Your Heart Away’ and with its blues-rock riff and harmonica beginning it’s clear this is a Whitesnake more akin to the early ‘Moody / Marsden / Murray ‘ days. ‘Love Will Set You Free’ is unbelievably reminiscent of the original band (and the obvious choice for lead single). The following track, mid-tempo ballad ‘Easier Said Than Done’ could sit easily on any album released over the last 30 years.
In truth the whole album sounds weighty, loud, and huge in stature but never noisy. The production by Coverdale, Aldrich and McIntyre is stellar. However it is not just the production, it’s the songs. This is classic Whitesnake. There have been some good tracks on more recent albums, but nothing compared to the mega 1987 album, and to most that album didn’t sound like the band or albums which came before. Throughout, “Classic Whitesnake” is what Forevermore sounds like. This is an album you will come back to, and album you will be glad to hear tracks from in the setlist of future tours.
This version of Whitesnake are not about resting on the glories of past iterations of the band, they want to prove themselves. And with David Coverdale hitting 60 this year, it’s an impressive future as well as an impressive history that he carries with him.