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Released in 2011, Forevermore is the 11th studio album by rock band Whitesnake. Recorded, produced and mixed by frontman Coverdale, guitarist Doug Aldrich and Michael McIntyre (not the comedian!) at Snakebyte Studios and Grumblenott Studios & Villas in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Whitesnake these days firmly have a place in the classic rock category having been around now since the 70's.
They are a band I have liked for many years now and despite having the odd cringe or two watching lead singer David Coverdale cavorting around singing of broken hearts, pain and angst whilst seeming to only be in love with himself, there is no denying the man has a good voice, even if some critics do think his best days are behind him. Indeed reports of the deterioration of Coverdale's voice I believe are somewhat exaggerated. Whilst he may not be hitting the high notes as easily as he did 20 years back, he still manages to pull it off without causing any embarrassment it is fair to say. And having witnessed some poor performances by one or two of our 'national treasures' over recent months, it is fair to say that David Coverdale need not worry too much just yet in my opinion.
David Coverdale may well be the face and voice of Whitesnake but guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach are gifted musicians too and should not be overlooked by all talk of Coverdale as their riffs add the grit to the Whitesnake tracks on this album. The opening track 'Steal Your Heart Away' for instance kicks off this album with some bold and brash sounds but also contains the blues notes which were predominant on earlier albums. The track is a nod back to the early days, but also combines the sound of those years when Whitesnake were a big chart success. Some fans yearn for a return to the early days, but I think this can be said about fans of most bands to be honest. This first track cleverly combines both and still features David Coverdale looking for love and stating he has never found a woman who wants to take his name. Maybe the fact he is sings "I want some love, I want it now, I'm gonna take it any old how" doesn't help his quest much in finding the everlasting love he desperately seeks in his songs. Surely a more romantic approach would be better? Still, his actions on stage have always made me giggle. I have watched women swooning as he laps it all up and whilst I have cringed and wondered what it is they see in him, I have always admired his voice and the Whitesnake sound. I just wish that his requests for love and attention in the lyrics did not feature so much.
'All Out Of Luck' again sees David asking if you will take him home tonight and make him feel alright, but the loud and thundering sound of this track makes up for his corny pleas, which can seem a little dated having heard him singing similar lyrics for many years now. It is a good job there is a lot more to Whitesnake than the lyrics. I am a fan of AC/DC who also will never win prizes for their lyrics, but have a great sound and a great ability to laugh at themselves and their lyrics. With Coverdale however, I have always had the feeling he wants you to take the lyrics seriously and watching him strut his stuff on stage, I just can't really take him seriously at all. Having said that, there is always something convincing about his vocals, despite the lyrics.
The anthemic first single release from Forevermore: ' Love Will Set You Free' and then 'Tell Me How' are two stand out tracks for me personally from this album with the latter containing some brilliant vocal harmonies and a blues rock style which I love. The lyrics see David asking for forgiveness after breaking someone's heart a thousand times and proclaiming he can't go on without them. "Tell me how I can win your heart?" he asks. You'd think after a thousand times he'd be getting the hang of what he is doing wrong ? Still, it's a great track and Whitesnake have always been good at big ballads as well as the heavier tracks.
'Fare Thee Well' is a track which will stick in your mind with its catchy riff. I recall reading that some critic said this track was akin to something Rod Stewart may have came up with years back. I think they may have meant that it is one of those you can imagine a crowd of people singing along to at an outdoor gig or festival as it has that feel about it when you listen. 'Easier Said Than Done' is another track which reminds me of what Whitesnake do so well, delivering crowd-pleasing rock and this track sounds like it could have been included on a few of the earlier albums when the band had big chart success. On this track David proclaims his love his guaranteed and his heart is an open book. Surely with all the adoring female attention he still gets after all these years this man doesn't need to plead so much!
'My Evil Ways' is faster-paced and surely answers the critics who say that David is getting past it. He may be 60 but still pulls off a scream here which is equal to his early years and he does heartfelt emotion in his vocals which is up there with the best of them.
The best track in my opinion is the title track, which at over seven minutes long includes everything required to be a masterpiece: an acoustic intro which slowly builds with yet another emotion-packed vocal and then some rousing guitar riffs to rock with, which shows that Whitesnake are not finished yet.
Forevermore is a good album which won't win prizes for lyrical content but will wow you with great musicianship and a polished approach to a formula which has served the band well. A whopping sixteen tracks are included and I would describe none of them as 'filler', but obviously I like some more than others. There is also a bonus dvd which includes a documentary of the making of the album and includes the making of the video for 'Love Will Set You Free.'
1. Steal Your Heart Away
2. All Out Of Luck
3. Love Will Set You Free
4. Easier Said Than Done
5. Tell Me How
6. I Need You Shine A Light
7. One Of These Days
8. Love And Treat Me Right
9. Dogs In The Street
10. Fare Thee Well
11. Whipping Boy Blues
12. My Evil Ways
14. Love Will Set You Free Alt Mix
15. My Evil Ways Alt Mix with Drum Solo
16. Forevermore Acoustic Version
Bonus DVD :
1. Love Will Set You Free Video Clip
2. Making Of Love Will Set You Free Music Video
3. Making of Forevermore Documentary.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Steal Your Heart Away 5:19
2 All Out Of Luck 5:28
3 Love Will Set You Free 3:52
4 Easier Said Than Done 5:13
5 Tell Me How 4:40
6 I Need You (Shine A Light) 3:49
7 One Of These Days 4:53
8 Love And Treat Me Right 4:14
9 Dogs In The Street 3:52
10 Fare Thee Well 5:18
11 Whipping Boy Blues 5:01
12 My Evil Ways 4:33
13 Forevermore 7:27