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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Whitesnake

Restless Heart

Review by Greg Olma

Looking back, I can't believe it was 7 years between Whitesnake albums. 1990 saw the release of Slip of the Tongue , undoubtedly Whitesnake's most "metal" long player. Seven years later, we were treated to an all together different Whitesnake. Those of you, myself included, that prefer the older Whitesnake (i.e. Trouble, Ready an' Willing) will love this album. I think this was a brave step for Coverdale since most people would have been content if he made Whitesnake 1987 over and over again. Coverdale let his voice wrap around the melody of the song instead of screaming over it. This collection of songs do not require Tawny Kitaen dancing on a car to make them interesting. Adrian Vandenberg providesd all of the guitar work on this very '70s sounding album (also, his first studio recording with Whitesnake). The under-production is one of the strong points, giving the whole affair an organic feel; no Pro-Tools here. The majority of this album is rock solid with only a few songs that don't quite make the grade. The Japanese version adds 3 bonus track making this a total of 67 minutes of Whitesnake blues and rock 'n' roll.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Don't Fade Away
Not the song I would have opened with, this is a slow build up but not quite getting there. It is nonetheless, a great track and a great vocal, but not an opener.
All In the Name of Love
A mid-paced rock 'n' roll song that would have fit on Trouble, Vandenberg provides a very tasteful solo on this one.
Restless Heart
Now here's an opener. This is probably the most "metal" song on the album, very much in the Whitesnake 1987 vein. Coverdale continues to keep his voice in singing mode instead of screaming and it sounds better for it.
Too Many Tears
The first bluesy number on the album, this is a good song except for the female backing vocals. The acoustic version on Starkers in Tokyo is much better - sometimes more is not better.
Crying
This song should have been called "Son of Trouble". This is a rockin' number that captures the old Whitesnake sound. Vandenberg plays this one like he is possessed by Moody & Marsden. It's definitely a stand-out track with Coverdale showing he can still rock with the best of 'em.
Stay With Me
This is a slow one that is one of the weaker songs on this album. It's not necessarily a bad song but not in the same league as the others.
Can't Go On
An acoustic number that builds into a power ballad, very few bands can pull off a power ballad without it sounding like a sappy romance novel. Whitesnake is one of those bands and they prove it here.
You're So Fine
Up-tempo once again, this one sounds like a throw away from the Slide it In sessions. It's another example of a song that isn't really bad but doesn't stand up to the rest.
Your Precious Love
A blues number with an almost gospel-like chorus, Coverdale's vocals build to where he is almost screaming towards the end. His performance really saves this otherwise ordinary song.
Take Me Back Again
This is a great blues song done in the Led Zeppelin tradition. Coverdale's voice sounds so at home on this number. This is by far, one of the stand out tracks on the album.
Woman Trouble Blues
Starting (and ending) with an acoustic melody that sounds like Zeppelin's Gallows Pole, this one builds into a Zepp-esque rocker. This is the type of song that has given Zeppelin fans the ammo to call Whitesnake "a Zeppelin rip-off", but I have to say, no one does Zeppelin better than the Snake.
Anything You Want (Japanese Bonus Track)
A really good rockin' song complete with some great guitar work from Vandenberg, this would have been better as a replacement for "You're So Fine". Again, this one sounds like your older Whitesnake material.

Can't Stop Now (Japanese Bonus Track)
This is the fastest song on the album and another winner. It still contains that old Whitesnake sound but sped up to make it more modern sounding (as modern sounding as Whitesnake can be). I don't know why a killer song like this is omitted on the worldwide release and left for the Japanese market only.

OI (Instrumental) (Japanese Bonus Track)
This is a fast up-tempo rocker but you have to ask yourself "Why?". When you listen to Whitesnake, it's for Coverdale's vocals, not the instrumental passages. They should have closed the album with "Can't Stop Now".  

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