I was a bit disappointed with the last Purple album, Bananas, and was therefore pleased to find out that 'Rapture' was definately a step up from this, with a bunch of rock solid compositions that might not be Purple classics but are really memorable nonetheless. The two tracks I dislike the most are the 'poppy' ones - 'Girls Like That' and 'Don't let Go', but the rest of the album is an enjoyable mix of the progressive, heavy, and funky, plus one ballad 'Clearly Quite Absurd,' which, although not being a huge fan of ballads, is, I feel, miles better than the one on 'Bananas.' The epic title track with its Eastern - sounding riff is particularly effective and Don Airey's stamp on the album is much more considerable this time, with synthesizer on the funky 'Back to Back,' apocalyptic keyboards on the heavy 'Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,' and boogie-woogie piano on 'Junkyard Blues.' The overall feel of the recording is of a band that really know what they're doing with a variety of musical styles, and sound confident and laid back but without being uninteresting or indifferent. Environmental themes are dealt with as on 'Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye' and 'Junkyard Blues' and Gillan gets philosophical on the final, progressive sounding track 'Before Time Began.' One problem with this CD is the sound quality, which could have been much better. On some tracks Ian Gillan sounds a bit muffled and this mix is a bit muddy. I don't know if this is also true on the Tour Edition CD or the vinyl version but I'm sure a better job could have been done here. That aside, this is the only Deep Purple studio album I own from the Steve Morse era, but one which I think is worthy of inclusion with rest of my collection from the Ritchie Blackmore days. As always with Purple, live versions of songs are better than studio versions as they thrive on live appearances, so a well filmed DVD of a recent concert performance would be most welcome.