WHITESNAKE — Good To Be Bad (review)

WHITESNAKE — Good To Be Bad album cover Album · 2008 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
How many years has it been since Mr. Coverdale & Co. graced us with a new album? Well over 10, I’m sure. They’ve been back on the touring circuit now for a few years and have given us a live album & DVD, but this is the first album of all new material since 1997′s Restless Heart…and even that was billed as David Coverdale & Whitesnake (much like Sabbath’s Seventh Star, it was supposed to be a solo album). Since striking out on his own with 1978′s Snakebite, David Coverdale has put out some of the best Hard Rock the world has been privileged to receive. His bluesy, smoky voice is it’s own trademark and he’s instantly recognizable no matter where he pops up.

So what does Whitesnake 2008 have to offer? Judging by Good To Be Bad, I’d say plenty. This is a pure, timeless Hard Rock album of the highest caliber. It’s easily the band’s most raw, aggressive album since…well, probably ever. There is plenty of classic ‘Snake to go ‘round without all the slick production tricks that made many longtime fans roll their eyes in collective disgust on 1989′s Slip Of The Tongue. If anything, this album is like a blend of Slide It In and the self-titled 1987 offering, only more muscular.

“Best Years” comes flying out of the speakers sounding like a meaner Coverdale Page offering, nice and bluesy. Those wanting more song oriented fare from the boys fear not, “Can You Hear The Wind Blow” offers a mid-tempo swagger that only a veteran band can deliver. “All I Want, All I Need” is the closest the band comes to “Is This Love” with it’s Sykes-like melody and smooth delivery. The title track is patented Whitesnake with a hip-shaking groove and air-guitar riffing, as is “Lay Down Your Love”. The whole album explodes with the bluesy Hard Rock the band is known for. While the entire band is in top form, Doug Aldrich is the star of this album. His riffing & soulful solos are as big a part of this album as Coverdale’s pipes. There is honestly not a bad song on this entire collection.

So many bands who come back after a long absence simply fail to deliver. It’s not for lack of trying in most cases, it’s just that the magic is just gone a lot of the time. What made a band resonate with fans in the first place is gone and many times these “comeback” albums disappoint long time fans and tarnish a band’s legacy. Not so with Good To Be Bad…not at all. This is Whitesnake being Whitesnake, down to the bone. Kudos to Coverdale & friends for taking their time & giving fans a monster album.
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