EMI Music
Produced by: David Coverdale

Released: Sept. 20, 25 / Website
Relative: Coverdale/Page, Whitesnake
GENRE: Blues rock

  1. Into The Light / The River Song
  2. She Give Me...
  3. Don't You Cry
  4. Love Is Blind
  5. Slave
  6. Cry For Love
  7. Living On Love
  8. Midnight Blue
  9. Too Many Tears
  10. Don't Lie To Me
  11. Wherever You May Go

A great deal of thought went into this review. The main reason being, this is not your average Coverdale related album. I had to sum up what I wanted from a new record from the great man, what the fans in general wanted and indeed, what David himself wanted to record.
The most important part of that summation was the fact that David has long promoted this album as a solo record and as a more mature blues rock album.
If that was the primary goal, then it's safe to say that has been achieved and this album is a great collection of 70's influenced mid-tempo blues rock songs.
Those like me that were initially hoping for a big time rock album will not find it here.
I was aware of David's intentions and did hope against all hope that he would return to stadium rock, but I am over that now and have settled into enjoy this album.
Coverdale is one of the finest vocalists in rock n roll ever.
I am a huge fan of his Whitesnake work and hope that he one day decides to make something like Coverdale Page again.
But for now, this album follows on from where the last Whitesnake album Restless Heart left off.
There is a few differences. Gone is his long time guitarist Adrian Vandenburg, replaced by Earl Slick (Dirty White Boy, Little Caesar) and Doug Bossi. It appears to be quite and inspired move in the end, as Slick plays all over this record in both Page like hard edged bravado and with soft acoustic touches.
Long time drummer Denny Carmassi is still on board, bringing back memories of Coverdale Page in places and Marco Mendoza plays bass with other contributions from keyboard player Mike Finnigan (who featured on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland) and harp player Jimmy Z.
Track By Track:
The album starts with a slow intro (Into The Light) that builds in intensity and sounds like a big time rock anthem is coming. It reminds me of Coverdale Page. Then it goes all soft and blusey, then The River Song blasts into action. The track is past Coverdale Page, part Restless Heart and part Eddie Van Halen. David sounds a million dollars, his voice is the clearest and strongest I have heard in years and shows no signs of letting up.
The River Song is heavily drenched in blues, organ and raspy vocals and in it's mid tempo way, contains some great guitar parts.
She Give Me... is the coolest track. It has a real swagger to it and again pays tribute to Coverdale's love of the Led Zeppelin blues. The song is the second most uptempo of the album and is generally a good fun blues rocker.
Don't You Cry is a Beatle-ish organ drenched ballad. Heavy in sentiment and musically sparse during the verse, the song comes alive in the chorus.
Love Is Blind is an acoustic driven pop ballad, again sparse in the verse to allow Coverdale's voice to rule the song. The song has a happy tinge to it - being quite upbeat for a ballad. Quite diverse and complex musically, it takes several listens for this to be apparent.
Slave reminds me of the Restless Heart album. More dominated by an electric guitar, after a soft intro the song rock along quite nicely and again herald's back to the Coverdale page sound.
Cry For Love follows on nicely. Once again, a 70's blues sounding number, complete with uptempo beat, blues harp and piano accompaniment. Quite a party number, without being too over the top.
Living On Love heads back into acoustic ballad mode, with more dedications to a 70's sound. The 6 minute track gets progressively heavier and more dominated bu Earl Slick's guitar work.
Midnight Blue is a pretty love dedication, a soft piano, organ and acoustic number. It's sounds is similar to Don't Leave Me That Way from the Coverdale Page album, but much softer and more restrained.
Too Many Tears is a simple remake from the Restless Heart album. Not quite sure why it was done, but musically there are subtle differences. It's more acoustic driven and fits the feel of this album perfectly.
Don't Lie To Me is easily the most uptempo and straight ahead rocker of the album. A good variation of pace at this time.
Wherever You May Go is just perfect. A beautiful way to finish the album, this track is Coverdale at his sentimental and vocal best. A simple acoustic ballad with the great addition of a female vocal accompaniment.
BOTTOM LINE: It depends what you went into the album expecting and wanting as to what you will get out of it in the long run. This isn't a classic rock album that demands being an essential purchase, but for long time Coverdale fans, I can't see too many complaining after they here just how good his vocal performance is.
For fans of mellower blues rock or those looking for an album that isn't all cock-rock, this album offers that alternative. For those that wanted David to rock, they need to be aware this album is fantastic, but for different reasons.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of David Coverdale, Coverdale Page and good blues drenched rock.
RECENT DISCOGRAPHY:Slide It In . 1987 . Slip Of The Tongue . Greatest Hits . Coverdale Page . Restless Heart . Starkers In Tokyo . Into The Light