Top positive review
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The best album since 'Perfect Strangers'
on 6 March 2014
What the hell! (to pay)
No doubt this is the best work since 1984, when the 'dinosaurs' reunited and produced 'Perfect Strangers'.
At that time Mr. Blackmore was still in the band and when, some 10 years later, he was replaced by Mr. Morse, probably nobody would have bet a penny on the new line-up (although Morse had been voted the best rock guitar player 5 years in a row).
Well, we were all wrong. 'Purpendicular' was a remarkable piece of work and, as they wrote on the sleeve: a sort of 'crossing the bridge'. On the other side of the bridge there was no better or worse Deep Purple, but simply 'another' Deep Purple. As great as ever!
It's incredible, 20 more years have passed and they're still around, always enjoying themselves and delighting old and new fans, teaching many other (would-be) bands what hard rock & roll should sound like. Of course there may be fans who don't like 'Now What?!', but I suspect that these live in another world or, rather, still live in the seventies... Deep Purple wouldn't have survived this long if they had struggled along aping their early selves. So, 'In Rock' and 'Machine Head' are and will always be milestones, but people need to know that their 'heroes' are still alive and kicking to keep on loving them as ever.
There's very little to add about 'Now What?!', only repeated listenings will allow everybody to realize how unique this album is: fresh and solemn, powerful and subtle, melodic and rough, elegant and tough, original and unsophisticated... simply straight Deep Purple music. Stupendously played and sung and energically produced.
Over four and a half decades Deep Purple got us used to a surprise after another (sometimes good, sometimes bad), but this album really came as the nicest of all. It could be their swansong (I don't believe so though, and I hope not), but to put it with the words of another famous rock band from the seventies: 'it's got the magic touch'. I'm sure also Mr. Lord would agree were he still among us.
Thank you Mr. Gillan & Co. (including all those who, from 1968 till today, have contributed to this fantastic, inimitable thing called Deep Purple): you'll be even dinosaurs, but never to become extinct!