Whitesnake’s ‘Slip of the Tongue’ Is Not All Good, But Not All Bad | Album Review

After I begged my parents to take me to Hungry Ear Records in Kakaʻako, my mom wanted to go to Pearlridge, so that she could go to Macy’s and I could go to the Book Off. One of the albums I found was Whitesnake’s Slip of the Tongue (1989). Some of the panel on Sea of Tranquility are fans of the band, so I decided to give them a shot. My only rule was that the album couldn’t have “Here I Go Again;” thankfully, I was safe with Slip of the Tongue. I purchased the album on February 6, 2021. 

There’s always a risk to buying used CDs because the previous owner may not have taken care of their purchases, so you’re left with a gross CD with the sticker still on. I tried to take off the sticker on the back, but I don’t have the necessary products to get it off. On the bright side, I got Slip of the Tongue for a good price, so there are pros and cons to everything. Without further ado, let’s get on with the music! 

The keyboard opens up the title track and reminds us listeners that 80s hair metal was still going strong! My biggest complaint with this song is that I can’t understand a word David Coverdale is singing; it sounds like he’s jumbling a bunch of words together. There’s also a portion of the instrumental section before the last verse where everyone pauses what they’re doing and it throws me off a bit. I enjoy the vibe of the tune, but I’m still trying to figure out what “slip of the tongue” even means!

I can understand Coverdale much better on “Cheap an’ Nasty” and I love the intro where the drummer is tapping on the rim of the snare. I thought he was playing a cowbell, but after listening to it a few times, it’s definitely not a cowbell. This song definitely has that headbanging feel to it, so this album is off to a good start. The next song, “Fool for Your Loving” is originally from 1980, but the band re-recorded it for the Slip of the Tongue album. I prefer the 1980 version because it has more of a groove, almost like a funk vibe, and the guitar solo is pretty epic. The 1989 version has a cool riff, but it’s definitely more commercial and fits more with the hair metal style that was so huge at the time.

There’s a key change in the chorus for “Now You’re Gone” and it makes me wonder if the song would’ve had a different vibe if it was all done in the key used in the verses. However, I can vibe with this, it has everything a song could need: a simple melody, catchy chorus, and great vocals. From a power ballad to total chaos, the next song is “Kittens Got Claws.” This song is just loud and obnoxious, the drummer is going nuts, and the guitarist screeches in the guitar solo. But hey, who’s complaining?

“Wings of the Storm” has a rocking beat, but I can listen to this a hundred times and still have no clue how it goes. The song doesn’t scream excitement to me, in fact, the lyrics sound like they could be used for an English class poem assignment. Boring and skip, please! “The Deeper the Love” was released as the second single from the album, which makes sense since it is a cheesy love ballad. I can definitely picture this track playing at a high school dance. Also, the drums are kicking, so “The Deeper the Love” isn’t exactly a snoozer.

“Judgement Day” started off with this cool guitar riff and heavy drums in the first 15 seconds, but then it went downhill for me. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not great. Coverdale sings the verses in a mellow style, before showing off his powerful voice in the pre-chorus and chorus. This song makes use of the keyboards for special effects and I’m not feeling them. What exactly is judgement day too, is it a spiritual thing, like what is it?

This won’t come as a shocker, but I have no idea what poke music is! However, the lyrics are playful (“East an’ West, North an’ South / Babe, you’re so hot / I’m gonna melt in your mouth”), Coverdale sounds great on the vocals, and this song has the pounding drums that I love so much. Musically, “Slow Poke Music” sounds good to my ears.

“Sailing Ships” would’ve been better if it was all acoustic, versus having the rest of the band come in a little over the halfway mark. I liked that the first half of the song was very lowkey with no drums and Coverdale wasn’t screaming the song. For “Judgement Day,” I didn’t like Coverdale’s soft and mellow vocals, but that’s what I prefer for “Sailing Ships” because it had that soft and peaceful vibe (at least the first half did). You can hear the band progressively get louder at the 3:00 minute mark and it ruined the mood for me. That was a missed opportunity for a peaceful journey out at sea.

So, I enjoyed 6 of the 10 songs (“Judgement Day” and “Sailing Ships” got half points), which is about 60 percent. With that in mind, I’ll give Slip of the Tongue a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. I’m glad I have at least one Whitensnake album (and that it was cheap), but I don’t get the hype for them. Also, the album cover for Slip of the Tongue is ugly and it resembles their 1987 self-titled album too much, in my opinion. 

Comment below your favorite song from Whitesnake’s Slip of the Tongue album!

Take care and see ya real soon!



29 thoughts on “Whitesnake’s ‘Slip of the Tongue’ Is Not All Good, But Not All Bad | Album Review

Add yours

  1. Over time I have taking a liking to this album but it took a long time as Vai a talented fellow does way too much trickery with the guitar in a band like WS.
    I like the box set that was issued though as Vandenberg does the guitar on the demos and its way better…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You brought up how you might forget which albums the songs on your Whitesnake’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album came from. So I said that’s why you should exercise your brain and keep your memory going. Or just look at the track list once in a while.

    This conversation has gone in multiple directions lol.


  3. I purchased the album on vinyl back in 1989, I was really into WS back then, beside being a huge Iron Maiden fan. I loved their powerful 1987 album and liked Slip of the tongue at first, but I grew tired of it quickly. The album is a product of its time, all guitar and no bass, and you notice this comparing the versions of Fool for your loving, old and new. In my opinion, tried to rewrite and rerecord “1987”, and he failed basically because there’s only one John Sykes out there. Too much cheese and hair metal in this album. People were already complaining about WS forgetting their roots already on the previous album, and I didn’t understand that since 1987 was great to my ears (and still is, although a bit commercial). But take a listen to their older albums, around 81/82, they really had an edge. Curiously, my favorite song off this album is Wing of the storm: there’s a lot of nuances and finesse, definitely a great piece of music. I would give this album a 3/5 myself, just for the memories. After it was released I found myself immersed deeply in thrash and death metal music, but that’s another story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Frank! I went back and got albums like ‘Ready an’ Willing,’ ‘Saints & Sinners,’ and ‘Slide it In’ since I wrote this review. I can’t say much about the 1987 album since I haven’t listened to it yet. But I definitely prefer the original versions of “Crying in the Rain” and “Here I Go Again.”


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