Whitesnake - 'Flesh & Blood'

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Whitesnake - 'Flesh & Blood'

To paraphrase Coverdale... here's a fucking great album for ya!

Whitesnake are an all-time Top Three act for me and my love dates back over thirty years to before I was even a teenager. I haven't spent as long with 'Flesh & Blood' as normal due to only receiving my promo copy just before going to print, but it only took one spin to know this is a bit of monster!

The perfectly-titled opener 'Good To See You Again' features a chunky riff, some serious old-school Whitesnake slide guitar and a few typically cheeky 'Snake/Cov-isms – "I will show you mine, if you'll show me yours" and "make some fucking noise." This "oooo"-inducing belter is one of the best, most fitting concert/album openers I've heard in some time and it immediately had me Tom Cruise-ing around à la 'Risky Business'.

I suspect many will have already heard the orgasm-inducing, monumentally catchy 'Shut Up & Kiss Me'. It's classic Whitesnake and an absolute ripper with a thumping beat, fabulous guitar work and a chorus so infectious the World Health Organization are already despatching emergency responders – it's already a personal 'Snake favourite.

The album also contains 'Gonna Be Alright' with its recurring riff and layered backing vocals, the thunderous 'Hey You (You Make Me Rock)' which includes effect-tinged vocals and a gang-chant chorus, the pounding riffage and squealing, gyrating solo of 'Trouble Is Your Middle Name' and some scaling twin guitars in the stop-start styled 'Always & Forever'. Elsewhere, the title track incorporates a chunky guitar-fuelled verse and harmonised catchy chorus, the manic 'Get Up' embraces plenty of "woohoo" shouts, 'Well I Never' is a chord-driven, punchy song and the massively epic 'Sands Of Time' closes the release with a really memorable chorus.

Aside from the all-out rockers, there are a few wonderful slower numbers like the classic power ballad 'When I Think Of You (Color Me Blue)', the emotion-drenched Power Blues-based 'Heart Of Stone' and the rather beautiful, heavily harmonised, acoustic-led 'After All'.

Coverdale told me last year that this was going to be one of the best Whitesnake records and I tend to agree – I adore this release and it sits comfortably amongst the band's previous work. As he also promised, it's "a beautiful hybrid of whatever chapters you have enjoyed" with little hints to the past throughout. Having only lived with it for a few days, I will stop short of any type of ranking, but don't be surprised to see this sitting atop my year-end list. To paraphrase Coverdale... here's a fucking great album for ya!

Dave Scott

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