Good to Be Bad

Good to Be Bad

4.2 4
by Whitesnake
     
 

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Good to Be Bad marks Whitesnake's 30th anniversary as a band -- though frontman David Coverdale is the only original member. It's their first studio album since 1998's Restless Heart, which was never released in the United States. The current incarnation of Whitesnake is Coverdale, guitarists Doug Aldrich and

Overview

Good to Be Bad marks Whitesnake's 30th anniversary as a band -- though frontman David Coverdale is the only original member. It's their first studio album since 1998's Restless Heart, which was never released in the United States. The current incarnation of Whitesnake is Coverdale, guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach, bassist Uriah Duffy, keyboardist Timothy Drury, and drummer Chris Frazier. Frazier is the band's newest member; the others appeared on 2006's Live...In the Shadow of the Blues. This is a seasoned road group, but it remained to be heard if they could pull it off in the studio. The answer is hell yes! Listening to this wondrous racket, it seems strange that such a timeless sound has vanished from mainstream rock -- guitars just don't sound like this on records anymore. What's really weird is that this sound, as seemingly "retro" as it is in recalling the 1980s, is actually a real alternative to what's on corporate radio in the 21st century. There are some outstanding cuts here. "All for Love," the album's centerpiece, contains a majestic power chord intro. It evolves into the big bad four-note riff that the tune hinges on. It's got a killer rough-and-rowdy hook in the refrain that's trademark Whitesnake. Another killer arrives with the wild unhinged blues licks that open "Best Years." The tune's riff is an inversion of the Allman Brothers' "Whipping Post," and the verse is based on the same changes. This tune is one of the hardest rockers to come swaggering down the stadium rock alley in a dog's age. "Can You Hear the Wind Blow" features enormous guitars and shimmering keyboards that contrast with the blues wail in Coverdale's voice. There is déjà vu here, too: the hook is reminiscent of "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by the Scorpions. Aldrich's guitar playing is a huge boon to the Whitesnake sound. He's obviously listened to Jimmy Page, and the slippery, knotty, and funky blues licks in tracks like "Call on Me" reflect that, but his sound with its effects pedals is more overdriven and bigger than life, offering the base for Whitesnake's core sound -- straight-out festival rock, y'all. This wouldn't be a Whitesnake recording without a power ballad, and "Summer Rain" is a beauty. Coverdale sings a country-tinged melody; he's all vulnerable singing above a washed-out meld of acoustic guitars and a gently but insistently swelling organ, kissed by cymbals and a bass drum. Of course, there's an enormous electric guitar solo near the end to bring it home. Coverdale's voice is lower in the 21st century, but just as effective in Whitesnake's brand of hard rock. "A Fool in Love" begins with the sound of a crackling vinyl record; it gives way to pure balls-out blues-rocker, with slide guitar in Brit metal overdrive. The closer, "'Til the End of Time," starts as an acoustic blues, but by the time the big tom-toms roll in and the keys weave through those guitars, it feels like something off Led Zeppelin III. Coverdale has always stuck very close to his blues-rock roots and continues to mine them; his brand of ROCK with chugging outsized guitars is palatable because of his reliance on crafting excellent choruses and hooks. It's a hell of a comeback and ranks right near the top of the Whitesnake catalog.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/02/2010
Label:
Steamhammer Europe
UPC:
0693723981307
catalogNumber:
2398130

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Good to Be Bad [Limited 2 Disc Version] 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid fan of 80's metal, I try to get my hopes up when a classic 80's band releases a new CD. Well, this might just be the best release from an 80's band this side of 2000. Wow! This CD has that late 70's metal sound made popular by AC/DC, Judas Priest, and of course, Whitesnake. The album starts with a blow-your-hair-back version of "Best Years" and just continues right on to "Can you hear the wind blow." Coverdale still has that voice that just makes it work. Really, this is his best work since Slide It In and Whitesnake (self titled.) Give yourself a treat and give this a listen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For fans of the late 80's Whitesnake/David Coverdale material (the 1987 album, "Slip Of The Tongue" and Coverdale/Page) this should go over well - in fact I think it may be better than some of those albums. David Coverdale's voice isn't as great as it was in the early 80's, but it's not bad (less raspy than on Coverdale/Page, I think), and most of this album has a lot of high energy groovin' on it. There's 2 weak ballads on the first half (like the stuff they did in the late 80's), and a decent one at the end, plus a slowish blues (that's pretty good), but the rest of it really rocks - I find myself inclined to speed if listening in the car! The new lineup (like the aforementioned albums, this one only contains the singer from other Whitesnake albums, but nonetheless feels like Whitesnake) is great - the overall sound is a modern update (thicker, bassier, and heavier than the 80's sound) of the blues-rock late-80s Whitesnake sound. They're back to a 6-piece (with 2 fine guitarists, and a keyboardist who tends to be back in the mix). If you're considering buying this (unless you're hoping to a return of the early Whitesnake vocal and musician style, which this is not), do so - you're probably going to be very pleased.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off, I'm a huge Whitesnake fan. However, I thought most of the album was somewhat bland. There are some nice songs on here, but most are just average. I like Doug Aldrich's guitar work, although his solos are just a fluster notes that don't really grab the listener...they don't add anything to the song. I'm just sad that there are no memorable guitar solos "ex. John Sykes". All around its good and the rhytms are nice and raw, it will get your foot tapping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago