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Music Review: Whitesnake ‘Forevermore’
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Obi-Dan   |  
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Whitesnake
Forevermore
Produced by David Coverdale, Doug Aldrich, Michael McIntyre
Frontiers Records
U.S: Release: March 29, 2011 (CD/DVD | CD | MP3)
UK Release: April 18, 2011 (CD | MP3)

In the age of the music video, TV in the late 1980s was swamped with big hair and sexy women; examples of both were provided in ample supply by Whitesnake. The band’s big-haired lead singer, David Coverdale, provided us at the time with some of the best rock songs, sung by one of the greatest ever rock voices and responsible for some of the filthiest lyrics in rock (anyone remember “Slow Poke Music”?), all as his model girlfriend cavorted semi-naked in the videos.

Forevermore is Whitesnake’s 11th studio album and marks a tremendous return to the great songs and songwriting of that time, which got most of us listening in the first place.

Throughout its original 19-year history the band went through many line-up changes, including the likes of Steve Vai, Vivian Campbell, and Cozy Powell, until its hiatus in 1997. Since 2002 Whitesnake has had a settled twin-guitar attack with Doug Aldrich and former Winger guitarist Reb Beach. They make an outstanding partnership; their riffs and solos are so tight and powerful that few bands I have heard in quite a while can match them. They really come alive on “Tell Me How,” driven by a chunky great guitar riff.

Last year they were joined by drummer Brian Tichy and bass player Michael Devin, who along with Beach supplies superb backing vocals to Coverdale. It is the quality of this rhythm section which really drives the album. They appear in equal parts understated and powerful, dictating each track, especially “Whipping Boy Blues.”

The album was written by Coverdale and Aldrich. A formidable tag team who have managed to capture that heavy, big sound of Whitesnake but created something so immediately huge sounding that it stands apart from previous Whitesnake albums. Aldrich mixes huge riffs not unlike those classic John Sykes riffs, but also uses beautiful acoustic guitar on the slow-burning title track.

Ex-Deep Purple lead singer Coverdale blows away any suggestion that he is actually approaching 60 years of age. His voice sounds as good as it ever has, especially on laid back “Fare Thee Well” where he sounds like a weary old bluesman but switches to the familiar screeching voice of rock on the charging album opening track “Steal Your Heart Away” (which also has a backing vocal by Coverdale’s 14-year old son, Jasper).

At just over an hour in length, Forevermore is a pretty hefty album, but it is worth every minute. There’s life in the old ’snake yet.

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