REVIEW: Whitesnake – Forevermore (2011)

This has become a bit of a series I guess, unintentionally!  Here are my Whitesnake reviews thus far:

SnakebiteCome An’ Get ItSlide It InLive at DonningtonGood to be Bad

WHITESNAKE – Forevermore (2011 deluxe edition, Frontiers)

Considering that this band has housed such monster players as Steve Vai and John Sykes among many others, I take great risk with my opening statement, but here goes: I think Forevermore, the newest album by Whitesnake, is the most guitar-heavy of their entire career. Indeed, on first listen, one is blown away by the extremely well recorded antics of Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich. These guys can wail.

And wail they do, the opener “Steal Your Heart Away” (not to be confused with “Steal Away” from Snakebite) just roars with bluesy chords, fast fretwork, and slippery slides.  The guitars are greasy! And that’s just the opening track.

FOREVERMORE_0004You can definitely hear an urge from Coverdale and Co. to keep everything loosely based on the origins of Whitesnake. You get a lot of bluesy rock, a lot of soul singing from one of the best there is, and some serious groove. On the whole, this album sounds like a growth from the last album, the solid but safe Good To Be Bad. Good To Be Bad was a decent album, but very “safe”. It did not stray much if at all from the classic Whitesnake 1987 sound, complete with guitar solos from the John Sykes School of Axe Wizardry. Now Whitesnake are stretching out more, and dropping a lot of the Sykes-isms. If the last album was a debut album of sorts, this one definitely sounds like the more confident second album.

David is singing great. His voice is as marvelously rich as it was on the Coverdale-Page album back in 1993. And speaking of Coverdale-Page, some of these songs definitely bring that great album to mind.

The only thing that I really don’t like about Whitesnake today are the lyrics. David’s a capable lyricist, and songs like the oldie “Sailing Ships” are really well written. When David, at his current age, starts singing about girls that way that he sings about girls, I feel mildly queezy inside.  But then, on the album closer “Forevermore”, David returns to his philosophical lyrical side, a side I prefer.  (And it’s a great song.)

It is what it is, and musically this is just a freakin’ great album. My current fave track is “All Out Of Luck” which sports this nifty space age blues metal riff. You will find your own favourites too. Fans of both 70’s and 80’s ‘Snake should find something to enjoy here.

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There’s a bonus DVD:  A music video, some making-ofs, and a track by track commentary by DC himself.

There are bonus tracks on my “deluxe edition”, all remixes and alternate versions. Just a nice bonus, not essential for the enjoyment of this album. The “Evil Drums” mix of “My Evil Ways” is a little crazy.  Of note, Japan also got an exclusive bonus of their own, a “Swamp Mix” of “Whipping Boy Blues”. Like our bonus tracks, it’s just a bonus, not essential to the flavour of the album. Track it down if you’re a collector. I’ve heard it, it’s cool.

4.5/5 stars

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23 comments

  1. This album is great but it didn’t capture my attention the way the previous one did… that could just be a matter of timing rather than a comment on the quality of the album.

    I didn’t get the bonus DVD or the bonus tracks! I got this as part of the Classic Rock fanpack which I meant I got the CD and a magazine which was a very good read actually! I’m sure there was some other freebie in there but, for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was. Something pish like a patch or a keyring…

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    1. I find many of those magazine editions to be lacking. Not the magazines but the discs inside!

      The bonus DVD would probably be another to sit around the house unwatched. The bonus tracks are an enjoyable extra

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      1. Yeah, it’s a bit annoying that they always seem to come with different tracklistings from the “retail” versions. Just as well I’m not a completist! I doubt I’d be so quick to pick up any fanpacks in the future but they are usually pretty interesting mags at least. I think, in this instance I probably paid more attention to the mag than the CD to be honest! The only other ones I’ve bought have been the Rush one and the Alice Cooper one I think.

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        1. I have two: Alice and Chickenfoot. Chickenfoot had two exclusive bonus tracks. Alice did not.

          I have trouble storing those too. They don’t file away nicely with my other CDS. Right now I’m storing them with my box sets for lack of a better space!

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  2. A very good album indeed, but it really couldn’t hold a candle to albums like Slide It In, Come An’ Get It or Ready An’ Willing. My wish is that ole Cov will someday reunite with Micky Moody, Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray and make a true Whitesnake album along with their classic logo. I’m not a big fan of Aldrich’s playing and Reb Beach is awesome, but he fits way better in Winger. None of the guitar players David have hired since 1987 has enough soul to capture the spirit of what I believe is the true Whitesnake. Not even Sykes, who was close enuff.

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    1. Hey Jon. I know what you mean. Even as a kid I was aware that “new” Whitesnake and “old” Whitesnake were two different thinks. Today Cov seems to try to do the 80’s Whitesnake sound more than the 70’s version.

      Have you heard the Restless Heart album? It doesn’t sound like 70’s Snake, but it’s very different.

      As a kid I was very much into Sykes and Steve Vai, and that still influences my tastes heavily today. I haven’t played Passion and Warfare in years but I still love to hear Vai play in a commercial band like Whitesnake.

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      1. Yeah, Restless Heart is great. Although it was never supposed to be a Whitesnake album. It was supposed to be Cov’s solo album. That’s why he compromised and called it David Coverdale & Whitesnake. Kinda ironic that Restless Heart is the only Coverdale-album Adrian Vandenberg actually plays on. if you don’t count Starkers In Tokyo.

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        1. I never liked Starkers or Restless Heart. I do wonder if maybe I was a bit harsh on Restless Heart though. It maybe just wasn’t what I was wanting at the time. I’d like to go back to it. I really liked Into the Light, the Cov the Gov solo album.

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        1. Cassettes, well that explains it.

          There’s an excellent 2 set that has Slide It In, 1987, and Slip of the Tongue along with several bonus tracks. Good budget purchase if you feel like it.

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