|Whitesnake Good To Be Bad||SPV|
The return of a classic band always brings huge expectations, but more often than not, the end result is something short of fan expectation. On the odd occasion, the band manages to exceed expectations and I believe Whitesnake has done just that.|
I have talked before about what inspiration or influence lies behind a band delivering a great album. I guess having knowledge of what made the band great in the first place and a desire to revisit one's best are the two main prerequisites.
David Coverdale has spent the last few years touring with his latest band line-up – yet another chapter in the evolving story of Whitesnake. The band is as tight and as ready as they are ever going to be and that translates into the recording here.
While the line-up features the dual guitar attack of Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach, the absolute star of this album is Doug Aldrich. His writing partnership with David Coverdale has reaped rich rewards for fans.
What I find most fascinating about this album, is that the duo have brought the very best out of each other and Good To Be Bad represents a broad cross section of all the previous Whitesnake incarnations.
I and I think a number of other fans have been taken by surprise at the ferocity of this album after the relatively lackluster new studio tracks added to the live release from 2006 and Coverdale's increasingly mellow output in recent years.
The simply massive production delivers a wall of sound and in your face guitars reminiscent of the band's biggest selling album ever – Whitesnake (1987); but not to be outdone, Doug's bluesy riffs and David's warm and raspy vocal brings back memories of Slide It In and even 70's 'Snake. Then you have the biggest surprise of all for me – a huge nod of the head to the Coverdale Page album, with some very tasty slices of Page-esque Zeppelin riffing spread amongst the album.
Drummer Chris Frasier makes an immediate impact in the band with a powerhouse performance and bassist Uriah Duffy simply hammers that rhythm section home.
Sonically bombastic and pompous in all its glory, the opening hard rocker Best Years blasts through the speakers like no other Whitesnake album has opened since 1987.
Filled with thumping basslines, wailing guitar solos and a Coverdale vocal unrivaled since Coverdale Page, this really kicks off the album fine style.
Can You Hear The Wind Blow is similarly in your face and establishes a fresh sound for the band today. All For Love and A Fool In Love further carve out the new band's sound in a hard rocking way.
As mentioned, there are a few tracks that head back to the Coverdale Page / Zeppelin influenced sound and Call On Me is the first track to do that. The title track Good To Be Bad even more so (do I hear a little Slow & Easy in there too?). It has a real Zeppelin feel to it and the guitar work is simply fantastic.
Lay Down Your Love is the most obvious of all the Zeppelinesque tracks, but when it is done so well, who is to argue?
All I Want All I Need is the first ballad of the album and again is one of the best ballads from Coverdale in years. The other ballads both offer different textures. Summer Rain is smooth, acoustic and sultry, while Til The End Of Time is darker.
Got What You Need is a frantic hard rocker that defies the age of vocalist Coverdale, with a truly energetic blast.
Coverdale's voice may not quite be what it was, but the job of any band in the studio is to produce the very best sounding record possible and on Good To Be Bad, Coverdale sounds better than he has in years. How these vocals were achieved is irrelevant, the fact is they have been delivered and sound great - even if a little raspier and a little lower in register.
Doug's bluesy hard rock injection is a shot in the arm for this band and a perfect match it seems. I can't see too many fans being disappointed with this release.
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