Released: 2008, SPV
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
David Coverdale has finally awakened after 11 years to bring us a new Whitesnake album. Coverdale and crew have toured heavily, but they haven’t released new material until now. Since their last studio album RESTLESS HEART from 1997, Coverdale has released compilations, live albums and re-releases so he has really kept the fans on hold for a while. The latest edition to the Whitesnake family is Uriah Duffy on bass and Chris Frazier on drums; Coverdale is the only remaining original member of Whitesnake, and I think it’s a bit misguiding to call the band Whitesnake at this point. I’ve read several interviews with Coverdale where he says that GOOD TO BE BAD is the first true Whitesnake album since 1987; he thinks of SLIP OF THE TONGUE or RESTLESS HEART as solo albums.
Today’s Whitesnake doesn’t budge an inch from the patented Whitesnake sound and GOOD TO BE BAD is all about good old melodic hard rock with a touch of blues. Guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich have really good chemistry between them and they deliver some really strong guitar duels at times. The new rhythm section does what’s expected of them and they deliver a rock-solid base for the rest of the band to stand on. Keyboardist Timothy Drury only pops up here and there with his keyboard parts.
Coverdale sounds as good as ever and there’s no doubt that the man possesses one of the strongest voices ever in the industry. His legendary voice bears no sign of weakness or fatigue at all. Coverdale wrote the 11 songs with Aldrich and if you’re into the later albums then GOOD TO BE BAD is definitely your cup of tea. The songs are awesome and my only problem is that they’re love-themed; but hey, it’s Whitesnake we’re talking about - the undisputed masters of love songs.
You can tell right away that it’s Whitesnake and despite its 60-minute length it’s not unbearably long. 3 of the 11 songs are ballads, so both rockers, blues-lovers and ballad-lovers can find something they’ll enjoy on the album. It’s almost impossible to pick favorite songs, but “Best Years”, “Can You Hear the Wind Blow” and “All for Love” give you the familiar Whitesnake sound. “Call on Me”, “Good To Be Bad”, “Lay Down Your Love” and “Got What You Need” are faster songs with a lot of energy and ass-kicking guitar playing by Beach and Aldrich. Coverdale contributes his sharp and edgy lead vocals to make the songs mean and heavy. The ballads “All I Want All I Need”, “Summer Rain” and “Til’ The End of Time” are plain and straight-up. Parts of them are totally acoustic and even though I’m not a fan of Whitesnake ballads I have to admit that these ones are pretty acceptable. I know that I’ve probably picked almost every song on the album as my favorite, but that’s just how great the album is.
Coverdale, Aldrich and Michael McIntyre produced the album and the Whitesnake boys probably knew exactly what they want out of a production. Needless to say, the production is flawless and leaves nothing wish for. They have managed to update the Whitesnake sound picture to the 21st century.
All fans of Whitesnake are gonna love the album and it’s great to finally see a true studio album by the band out on the market instead of all the compilations and re-releases. Whitesnake has outdone itself with this magical album and it was well-worth the wait. The band is currently celebrating 30 years in the business and a long tour through Europe with Def Leppard is booked for this summer.