After the decidedly ropey Deep Purple tribute record The Purple Album three years prior, Whitesnake is back to business as usual with Flesh and Blood (Frontiers Music S.R.L.). The thirteenth album in their illustrious forty-year career, it is full of the big and bolshy Hard Rock that made them a household name.
They followed the route of the previous album Forevermore by mixing up their two eras, the bluesy Rock and the MTV Metal, to good results. The catchiest example being ‘Shut Up & Kiss Me’, a big ‘n riffy rocker about David Coverdale’s favourite topic, the opposite sex. ‘Trouble Is Your Middle Name’ is in the same vein, a chugalong headbanger with a driving beat and a big hook. ‘Hey You (You Make Me Rock)’ is another chant-along headbanger only moodier, and a good showcase of the fretwork skills of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra – who co-wrote the album alongside Mr. Coverdale.
Fans of the band will love Flesh and Blood, it delivers everything you expect from a ‘Snake album from the balls out rockers to the loved up ballads. The most prominent example of the latter being ‘When I Think Of You (Color Me Blue)’, an all too cheesy ditty that is eerily familiar to ‘Why Don’t the Beautiful Cry’ by The Darkness. One of my favourite moments ‘Always & Forever’ is in the former camp, it is an upbeat ode to love with sweet Slide It In style lead guitar throughout.
This sticking to type comes with its drawbacks, it may be catchy but it has been done many times before. This would not be such a problem were it not for the running time, nigh on an hour later and all the wailing guitars, pounding drums and cries of lust get a tad monotonous. A welcomed breath of fresh air is provided by ‘After All’, a softer, largely acoustic number with lush melodies.
Whitesnake’s 13th album is a catchy collection of Hard Rockers that is a good addition to any fans collection but suffers slightly with its length and predictability.
6 / 10