“Good To Be Bad” by Whitesnake

Artist: Whitesnake
Title: “Good To Be Bad”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 4/22/2008
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5//5

As part of their 30th anniversary celebration the one and only Whitesnake returns with their first studio album in over a decade and from the sound of it, this was definitely something that was worth waiting for. It’s almost hard to believe that it has been that long since we have seen a new studio release from the band since they have been on the touring circuit consistently and have made sure to keep their fans in live albums, videos and greatest hits compilations that are a steady reminder of one of Rocks true powerhouse bands. “Good To Be Bad” is an incredible return to the public eye for the band and I cannot even think of anyone who would argue with me about the statement once they hear the new recording. It begins with the crunching “Best Years” as Coverdale seems to reflect in heavy fashion about his past in the role of singer and this is quite the kick off to what is in truth a smashing effort. “Can You Hear The Wind Blow” is next up and loaded with tasty hooks and solid drumming along with a chorus that will have you jumping in place when it kicks in. The tune could have easily been the albums opener as well based on its overall strength. When “Call On Me” came up as their third track I felt it really reminded me of the stellar “Whitesnake” CD from back in the eighties as it had that vibe to it with perhaps a little bit of the Coverdale Page project thrown in for good measure.

Of the eleven tracks on the album we get eight solid rockers and three of their signature ballad numbers and the first of these ballads comes up with “All I Want, All I Need” – a touching piece that reminds us about the bands ability to deftly craft a touching number as easily as they deliver one that can kick our respective asses. “Good To Be Bad” is a smashing title track that reminded me of some of the “Slide It In” tracks based on the groove it was laying down. To be honest there is something good about every single song on the album which continually proves that the band had not grown tired and complacent over the years. Coverdale’s voice is on the money and perhaps even a little smoother at some points. The band that he has assembled is a completely new lineup compared to that which he last recorded any studio tracks with but they are truly a bunch of top notch players. The release finds Doug Aldrich on guitar, and he is a true compliment to that of Reb Beach who handles the same role in the band. Considering the pair of axe slingers brings past experience from Dio, Winger, Lion, and Night Ranger to the table you know that they will up the ante on the melodic aspect of the group. Bass is delivered by Uriah Duffy, keyboards by Timothy Drury and drums are Chris Frazier. The whole of the rhythm section came off as a complete lock in place as the album progressed.

As far as a return of the band goes in terms of their recorded studio releases I think that Whitesnake didn’t disappoint anyone because this album really rocks and does so on more than one or two occasions. Let’s face it, so many bands “return” and the album finds them rocking on one track or the effort is a bunch of lackluster singles. Not so with the Snake and perhaps it will not only shine as their own return but maybe even a wake up call to those bands who have been releasing utter garbage for their last few albums while fans await their own true return to form. I got into Whitesnake only around the time of “Slide It In” but loved the earlier stuff that friends turned me onto afterwards and I think that when the sun closes down for the day that the night will shine bright under the power of “Good To Be Bad”. This is a must have for any fan of the Classic Hard Rock sound because it has not gone away at all and instead returned to its legion of fans once again to save us from the likes of the American Idol drivel and far too many Emo bands. There is a little of everything from the Whitesnake archive in terms of musical reference on this one along with a knowledge of what will work in today’s rapidly changing musical landscape. Should you like the Hard Rockers, the ballads or the blues laden style from them, well each of these makes their appearance all across the span of the album. With Coverdale leading us once again into Rock and Roll glory I think music is once again in good hands. Welcome back guys, the still of the night was a little too quiet until now.

Note: There is a special edition of the CD that gives the buyer a second disk of bonus songs done live. I didn’t have that version to comment on but I am sure its worthy of investigation while maybe more for the super hard core fan as opposed to just the regular Hard Rocker.

Track Listing:
1. Best Years
2. Can You Hear The Wind Blow
3. Call On Me
4. All I Want All I Need
5. Good To Be Bad
6. All For Love
7. Summer Rain
8. Lay Down Your Love
9. A Fool In Love
10. Got What You Need
11. ‘Til The End Of Time

Official Website: www.whitesnake.com

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