Bad Company's last platinum album, Holy Water is a formulaic yet reasonably engaging collection of AOR hard rock. Although the only original members on Holy Water are guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Simon Kirke, the band does a fair job of approximating the sound of classic Bad Company while adding enough elements of '80s pop-metal to make the record appealing to teenagers who grew up on power ballads. And the band does turn in a first-rate power ballad with "If You Needed Somebody," which rose all the way to number 16 on the singles chart. Surprisingly, that was one of three hits from the album -- "Holy Water" and "Walk Through Fire" also received a fair amount of airplay. What that success signals is not a creative rebirth for Bad Company, but that the group knew how to follow a formula very well. Holy Water hasn't aged as well as their original hit albums -- instead of the clean, ballsy attack of Bad Company and Straight Shooter, it's awash in echo and synths -- but it is a finely crafted, big-budget record of the late '80s and early '90s. It's just as indicative of its era as Bad Company is.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine