After only three short years after Whitesnake’s ‘Good to Be Bad’, David and company bring us their next studio album, ‘Forevermore’. The album was released on March 9, 2011 and in modern Whitesnake times, 3 year gap is like a week as the gap between ‘Good to Be Bad’ and the previous studio album was 11 years.
David Coverdale and Doug Aldrich wrote the entire album together as David likes to sit with his guitarist and come up with the songs just as he did with Vandenberg and Sykes. The two tried to capture an album that was rooted in the early Snake albums with that blues rock feel and soak it in the modern rock of today. Of course, the sprinkled a little of the late 80’s in some songs to not alienate anyone. And did they succeed? I will let you know soon enough so slow that roll!
The line-up to the band has some changes to it. Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach are still unchanged from the line-up of the last album. However, we have had turnover in the rhythm section as we now have Michael Devin on Bass and Brian Tichy on drums. A pretty lethal duo. One thing I noticed is that Timothy Drury has been relegated down to a Special Guest for this album when he was a band member on the last…Interesting. A one cool special guest on this is Jasper Coverdale, David’s son, who supplies some backing vocals….David must be proud!
Let’s get to the music…so here’s a song for you…
The album opens with the guitar driven piece of nastiness called “Steal Your Heart Away”. It is a hard-driving bluesy rock song with a great Aldrich guitar riff, an awesome solo and some heavy ass drums from Tichy. David attacks it with a youthful energy and brings a little grit to the vocals and shows why he is still one of the great rock vocalist in the business. This is a great opening track and gets the blood flowing and builds that anticipation for the what is to come.
The next song, “All Out of Luck”, opens with a wicked little riff that seems to come out of left field, pretty cool. It is another rocker in the same vein as the opening slot. It shows a lot promise, but lacks a little something extra the opening track has. It isn’t a bad song at all, but not different enough for it to stand out for me and make it extra special.
We then get to the first single, “Love Will Set You Free”, which to me sounds a lot like something off ‘Slip of the Tongue’ as there is a guitar sound that reminds a little of Vai’s sound. A good enough single that would definitely make Snake fans perk their ears up. It is what you expect in a Whitesnake song. Doug Aldrich is kind of a chameleon with his playing as he can play all eras of Whitesnake, but maybe lacking a little self-identity.
Then we get to our first ballad and you knew it was coming. “Easier Said Than Done” is like any other ballad David has done over the last 20 years. It is emotive and covers all the ballad bases, but it isn’t anything special. It doesn’t hold up to the anything from the late 80’s early 90’s. Been there, done that. Wow, I am not being overly positive so far, am I. It really isn’t bad so far, I promise, just nothing overly special.
“Tell Me How” picks things back up and starts to save things for me. It has a little of that nasty sound I mentioned on the first song. A great guitar sound and David sounds great like he is really digging this song which makes you like it that much more. Doug nails a great guitar solo and David sends out some classic screams and all is right with the world.
Next we get “I Need You (Shine A Light)” which seems to be a throwback to early Snake, but another that falls flat to me. The bridge vocals sound awful and forced and the song feels like filler. I will tell you that this album is too long at 13 tracks. There are 3 you could remove and make this better. Start with this one.
There were two singles on this album and “One of These Days” is the other one. An upbeat Acoustic sounding song that is a fun little song that makes you feel good. There is a light and airiness to it that lift the spirits and I can see why it was a single even though not really representative of what is on the album (which so far is a good thing for the most part). I like this one.
“Love And Treat Me Right” brings back the rock and and is another that reminds me of pre-‘Slide It In’. I can feel a little of that blues guitar and David bravado in his vocals. And he sings about a dog howling which he has used that reference many times over the years and it never gets old. This is setting a new direction and is pretty much same old same old, but it does make me feel alright like the song says and that is good enough for me.
Then Whitesnake turn it up a notch with “Dogs In the Street” and might be the heaviest song on the album. It is a little dirty sounding with the guitar work from Beach and Aldrich and David’s swagger is in full force. A straight up rocker and it doesn’t let you forget that David can still rock with the best of them. And it actually has a solo that I like, probably my favorite on the album which might actually be a dual solo back and forth between the two guitar greats. Oh yeah, and the dog howls here too…real original guys!!
And right back to a ballad with the acoustic “Fare Thee Well”. David was trying to capture the spirit of “We Wish You Well” off the ‘Lovehunter’ album and I think he did just that. It is a nice song to play as the fans are exiting a live show. A nice thank you and farewell song.
“Whipping Boy Blues” is an example of everything that is right with Whitesnake. That hard hitting Blues Rock we all love from the early Snake albums. This is slap dab in the middle of David’s wheelhouse and he nails it. The energy is electric and there is even signs of a little of Coverdale/Page on here. I could listen to this type of Snake all day long (and if fact I have before).
Then it doesn’t slow down with “My Evil Ways” as you get more of that blues sounding rock. The dirtier and nastier they get the more I gravitate toward the songs and this one is pulling me right to it. And yet another guitar solo that I really like especially when I think that Reb and Dough are trading off. They should do that on every song. David lets out a massive scream at the end of the solo and then he brings it home with the vocals and this Son of a Bitch can sing.
The album ends with the ballad and epic song “Forevermore”. David likes to end albums with an epic sounding song in the same style as say “Sailing Ships” from ‘Slip of the Tongue’ and he brings this one home. It is fantastic and easy to see why they named the album after this beauty. It is one of the best vocal performances on the album for David. A real highlight.
The album I have is actually the Deluxe Edition and it has three bonus tracks, however, they aren’t new unreleased songs. They are different versions of songs on the album. You get “Love Will Set You Free (Alt Mix)”, “Forevermore (Acoustic Version)” and “My Evil Ways (My Evil Drum Mix)” and honestly, they are all awesome and great additions to the collection. But not going to review them anymore than that as I am sticking to the main albums.
The Deluxe Edition also has a DVD with two documentaries…1) The Making of Forevermore and 2) Forevermore: Track by Track. You also get the video for “Love Will Set You Free” that has David’s wife in it and then lastly a Making of the video which I really liked. It wasn’t long, maybe a little over 30 minutes of stuff, but worth the price for the Deluxe.
- Steal Your Heart Away – Keeper
- All Out of Luck – Delete
- Love Will Set You Free – Keeper
- Easier Said Than Done – Delete
- Tell Me How – Keeper
- I Need You (Shine A Light) – Delete
- One of These Nights – Keeper
- Love & Treat Me Right – Keeper
- Dogs In The Street – Keeper
- Fare Thee Well – Keeper
- Whipping Boy Blues – Keeper
- My Evil Ways – Keeper
- Forevermore – Keeper
The Track Score is not bad at 10 out of 13 Keepers or 77%. The back half of the album is way better than the first so hang in there as it will pay off, but overall the whole albums isn’t one of my favorites. There are some essential, classic Whitesnake songs on here worth price of admission. I like this one better than “Good To Be Bad”, but not by much. There is just something missing from these albums with Doug as all in all they are good albums, but nothing that makes them standout over anything that has come before it. But in 2011, I was happy to get anything new from David so I still throw them on every now and again. I will give this a score of 3.6 out of 5.0 Stars for all the reasons above.
Up next…Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
The David Coverdale Series:
- Deep Purple – Burn
- Deep Purple – Stormbringer
- Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
- Deep Purple – Made in Europe
- David Coverdale – Whitesnake
- Deep Purple – Last Concert in Japan
- David Coverdale – Northwinds
- David Coverdale’s Whitesnake – Snakebite
- Whitesnake – Trouble
- Whitesnake – Lovehunter
- Whitesnake – Ready an’ Willing
- Whitesnake – Live…in the Heart of the City
- Whitesnake – Come An’ Get it
- Deep Purple – Live in London
- Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners
- Whitesnake – Slide It In
- Whitesnake – “Give Me More Time” 12″ Single (Bonus Review)
- Whitesnake – ‘The Best of Whitesnake (Bonus Review – 1982 release)
- Whitesnake – Whitesnake (1987)
- Whitesnake – “Is This Love” 12″ Promo (Bonus Review)
- Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue
- David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
- Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
- Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
- David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart
- Whitesnake – Starkers in Tokyo
- David Coverdale – Into the Night
- Whitesnake – Live…In the Still of the Night (DVD)
- Whitesnake – Live…In the Shadow of the Blues
- Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
- Whitesnake – Forevermore
Other David Coverdale Albums reviewed – (Box Sets and Bootlegs):
- Whitesnake – 1987 (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Slide It In (35th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Unzipped – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)