Whitesnake has been a storyline of my life. Going back to Slide It In, 87 Album, Slip of the Tongue to the current day. Very few bands have songs that I can equate to different situations in life.
David Coverdale has had my guitar heroes in Whitesnake, Sykes, Vai, Vandenberg, and Aldrich.
On their 13th studio release, which contains 13 tracks, Flesh and Blood sounds like a record that they wanted to have fun making. It’s also the first record with Reb Beach as lead guitarist. Tommy Aldridge’s drums are clean and pounding in the mix, flanked by the guitars of Beach and Joel Hoekstra. Bass player Michael Devin and keyboard player Michelle Luppi deliver what they’re supposed too. This album sounds ok. There seems to be something missing. That umph that would make this a classic sounding Whitesnake album. Then, it dawned on me!
John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, or Doug Aldrich is what’s missing. Coverdale did some of his best writing with these three. It just came naturally and fluidly. If you listen to Flesh and Blood, then listen to either Good To Be Bad or Forevermore, you’ll see what I’m talking about with the missing piece in Aldrich. Reb was the second guitarist to Aldrich on these two albums but didn’t have any input on writing. Sykes obviously for the 87 album and Vandenberg for his many contributions.
Is Flesh and Blood a bad album? Not at all. Do I think it’s missing better songwriting? Absolutely. Joel and Reb are both fantastic guitarists but these songs are missing a few things.
I do hope before Coverdale calls it quits that he’ll do one last snake record with Vandenberg. Or, if hell freezes over, John Sykes. 7/10 Rating