1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Purple go commercial with (on the whole) pleasing results,
This review is from: Slaves And Masters (Audio CD)
OK so let's cut to the chase....
Slaves And Masters is no groundbreaking album and despite arguably being the most accessible and commercial of all Purple releases it was also not a big seller for the band. Cynicism of the media towards this short lived line up (the Deep Rainbow/Purple Rainbows stuff) aside let's just concentrate on the music.
As many will know this is the one and only DP album to feature Joe Lynn Turner and he sings very well, Turner is without doubt a fine vocalist. In fine tradition as with any of the band's albums it kicks off to a flying start with 'The King Of Dreams', very straightforward rock song but the slick, free and easy groove coupled with Turner's heartstring vocal hammer it home. 'The Cut Runs Deep' originated from a jam in the studio, some sweet Blackmore/Lord interplay and... we're off! Some really good performances by the whole band on this one. Regrettably one thing that actually let's Slaves And Masters down overall is the lack of strong individual performances/character that seem to blend so naturally on other Purple albums - this is very much the case on the second half of the album but more on that later. 'Fire In The Basement' is essentially the most "Gillan sounding" track on the record if I may put it that way. This tune could fit on any album from the bands huge back catologue - it's typical Purple and works well from start to finish - Ritchie Blackmore easily stealing the show on this one with his signature sonic authority. 'Truth Hurts' has a cool laid black groove and rolls along effortlessly and in my view one of the standout cuts here. The first half closes with 'Breakfast In Bed' - I've noticed from several other reviews that the general consensus is it's a generic filler. I think the opposite. The whole song flows really well. Ritchie and JLT work brilliantly together on this one.
Now onto the second half of Slaves And Masters...
It's completely overshadowed and dwarfed by the previous tracks. Quite frankly the songs just aren't up to scratch. Very unengaging, bland, and largely forgettable. Of the four tracks remaining 'Love Conquers All' is the best of the bunch. It's a fairly decent power ballad but nothing great. The others are best avoided in my view. I have played them several times but they hold no redeeming features and that's why I cannot award the full 5 stars.
To summarise : this is a good album. For those curious on hearing the more commercial side of Purple with JLT's vocals it's well worth checking out.