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Sometimes I forget there are still people out there waiting for their favorite bands from back in the day to release new music. I know I will be that way when I get older and my favorite bands may not be releasing music as much or in many cases may have broken up. It’s crazy how good music can come and go in a flash, but that doesn't always have to be the case. I think Whitesnake is a great example of this.  They are an amazing talented band that has reinvented themselves over and over since their inception in the late 70's and have ultimately withstood the time  Their classic 80's sound helped pave the way for the rock music we hear today, and should be considered a clear road-map for any band looking for a long and successful career in the music biz.   Kicking off yet another world tour, Whitesnake is celebrating their 40th anniversary with their long-awaited 13th studio album, Flesh & Blood, coming out on May 10th. It’s amazing to me that a band can keep a run going like this for so long, but these guys have done it, and in a way that other bands envy. Yeah, I’m sure there were some tough times along the way as band members sometimes come and go, but it doesn’t change the fact that they can still put together a fantastic record and tour like its 1987.

At first listen, I really didn’t know exactly how to feel about Flesh & Blood not being an avid Whitesnake fan. I'd heard some of their classics like "Slip of The Tongue" and "Slow and Easy".  However, I was unfamiliar with the majority of their catalog.  After taking this one for a few spins around the block,  I can honestly say I was officially 'Snakebitten'!  This record gave me a new found respect for the talent each of these musicians have, and would stack them up against any band performing today.  Flesh & Blood has a very raw feel to it and you can tell they went in there and gave it their during the recording sessions.  I think the first thing that caught my ear were the insane guitar solos Joel Hoekstra was slinging in each song. It’s phenomenal what he can do with the guitar and how he brings the music to life so effortlessly. Add in Reb Beach's solid riffs and amazing songwriting, Michael Devin's thundering bass-lines, the drumming prowess of legend Tommy Aldridge, and the mercurial Michele Luppi on keyboards.  Tying it all together are the powerful vocals of Whitesnake founder and frontman David Coverdale.  Shake it all up and you get a unique rock n’ roll story-line that excites, engages, and makes you want to keep listening.

The song that stood out to me the most on this album was the title track, “Flesh & Blood”. From the moment I pushed play, I had insanely vivid flashbacks of listening to rock n’ roll with my mom in the car as a kid. It's one of those songs where you find your head unintentionally bobbing up and down to an insane drum beat while playing air guitar on your Ford's steering wheel.  Lower the windows as you are cruising down on an open highway and its heaven on Earth.  This one is probably my favorite on the album, although I'm sure others might have a different opinion seeing there is so much good music to be had.  The guitar melody line in the chorus makes me makes me feel alive, as is the signature of any solid piece of music.  It's an all around a wonderful track that sets the stage for an incredible compilation of soon to be Whitesnake classics.

I’d also be remiss not to say a few things about the wonderful mixing on this record. As I’ve said many times before, you can never beat a great mix because that is what makes the listener want to keep listening. I was impressed with the balance of sounds they used on throughout album and specifically on the track “Hey You”. The riffs don’t overshadow the vocals, and the solos are high but pleasantly inserted between beautiful guitar work.  “After All” is another great example of this and highlights my point to a tee.  It's a wonderfully crafted acoustic track that whisks listeners away to their happy place from the very first note.  I really dig songs like this are feel they are always a pleasant surprise on rock albums of this magnitude, and when mixed right it's taken to a whole new level.   

Overall, I think Flesh & Blood is a great album and believe Whitesnake fans are going to be very impressed come May 10th. It has everything a fan of classic rock would like and then-some.  In a time where most new music from bands of this genre is predictable, stale, and in many cases falls short of expectations, Coverdale and Company drop an instant classic that is truly worthy of the Whitesnake moniker.   But then again, would you expect anything less from the 'Snakes?


As always, rock on my friends.     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.1 out of 10

Artist: Whitesnake,  Album: Flesh & Blood,  Release Date:  May 10th, 2019,  Label:  Frontiers Music Srl



James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

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