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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: Now What ?! (Audio CD)
The blurb for this album claims this is a mix of Made in Japan and Perfect Strangers, which is nonsense. If we had to go there, maybe Fireball meets Perfect Strangers meets Rapture of the Deep.

On first listen, it really did nothing for me at all. Of course, I realised that this isn't necessarily a bad thing & turns out I was right. It's a terrific album. This is not Bananas 3 (which was what I was expecting), but a whole different beast altogether. This is a much more carefully crafted album that has the perfect mix of live jamming and modern production values. In fact, the production may have been one of the things that put me off in the first place as it's the first time they've really pulled it off.

The real highlight for me is the Morse/Airey thing, which was maybe only hinted at in the last two albums but here it is in glorious full technicolour. I actually think that they've not really had their due yet & this album should go a long way to fix that. In a way, this is the album I've been waiting for since Come Hell Or High Water suggested that they still had that potential.

There's actually an awful lot of music, here, which should keep me entertained for a long while. My favourites at the moment are Out Of Hand (a more typical Morse-era heavy riff and epic melody), Bodyline (a classy Paicey swing-rock) and the trio of Uncommon Man, Apres Vous and All The Time In The world, which are not only three of the best songs in the bands catalogue but pretty much unlike anything else in the bands catalogue. Don't be fooled by the slow tempos - it might be elaborate, but still bursts with energy.

So what's missing? The high energy teetering-on-the-brink aka Speed King or Made In Japan is wholly absent (and has been since 1973!). Perhaps advertising it as such is going to give people the wrong impression. They tried that live in the 80s, and I don't think it worked, anyway. A good new Deep Purple album needs to get the best out of the people in the band at the time & I think that they've succeeded. I've no interest in a band that is like a cover band of 'when they were good'. Plenty of bands do that, but not Purple.

Weaknesses? It does mostly lack the immediacy of Bananas or Purpendicular. My least favourite song on there is Hell To Pay the 'song' part of which is a little derivative to my ears with a catchy but cringe worthy chorus. It is saved by a classic bit of jamming middle section (with nods to Mandrake Root) which is great. Having said that, I would expect people to pick up on this one as it's less involved that some of the others. The album works where it is slower and more - for want of a better word - 'mature' than this kind of stuff. Also, vocally the production is more like The Battle Rage On than the last two, possibly due to Big Ian's advancing years. If you want to hear what he 'really' sounds like in a studio, stick the Bananas and Rapture.

All in all a great album of new, different stuff that avoids watering down their sound. Those that want to relive their youth and get Machine Head part 2 will not like it. I would suspect that the word 'prog' will get banded about in reviews and whilst (as a progger myself) this is kind of inaccurate, it's probably a better indicator than what the marketing machine is saying. It's not about 'fists in the air kiss-type music', to quote a certain someone, it's not really about just 'songs', hooks, or having your 'rock hero' in the band, but a wonderful example of what happens when musicians are inspired and work together. Isn't that what Purple is all about?
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jun 2013 13:33:29 BDT
You mention Morse /Airey in the same paragraph as Come Hell Or High Water...you do realise that neither Morse nor Airey were in Deep Purple at the time of that concert/Dvd release?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2013 16:12:58 BDT
ltia says:
Well yes, obviously, duh. I'm enough of a fan to know all the lineups of Purple, all the songs, all the setlists (apart from some of the the 60s), and 90% of the guitar parts, actually. As do lots of people. Not sure what your point is other than maybe your heroes aren't there anymore? It's perfectly valid to see potential in a band that is only fulfilled when there are major line up changes. Someone in some other band I won't mention once called said band 'a way of doing things'.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 22:13:42 BDT
My point.....is that you mentioned Come Hell Or High Water and talk about Morse and Airey as though they were in DP when that video/CD was made..

"In a way, this is the album I've been waiting for since Come Hell Or High Water suggested that they still had that potential."

Obviously they weren't.
And the little dig about " my heroes "..is way off mark..I accepted Blackmore and Lord's departures a long time ago..although since Purprpendicular I haven't bought an album..until this one..which in my opinion is their best since Perfect Strangers.
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