Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Deep Purple - Now What? Review
I am a massive Deep Purple fan…have been all my life. Some albums have been better than others, but I don`t think the band in any of its many configurations has ever released a truly bad album in a career that now spans 45 years, 19 studio albums and countless live releases. There`s been a lot of excitable talk about this new Bob Ezrin produced Deep Purple album being a return to form one of Rocks pioneering greats, so what’s it like?
Deep Purples latest album ``Now What?`` commences in understated fashion with some delicate, fluid grooves on ``A Simple Song`` before the band locks into full Purple flight, a great opening track with that classic keyboard driven Purple sound.
``Weiderstan`` thunders along in magnificent style, once again heavy on the Hammond organ, a Deep Purple signature that reigns supreme throughout all of ``Now What? ``
``Out of Hand``see`s some incredible musical jousting between Don Airy and Steve Morse in a dramatic orchestral work out. The albums current single ``Hell to Pay`` possesses many of the classic Deep Purple elements, recalling an almost vintage feel, while Don Airey`s Hammond once more punctuates and drives the track ``Bodyline``.
The keyboards are the dominant feature throughout the entirety of this album. Could this be in tribute to the great Jon Lord who passed away as his former band mates began recording and to whose memory this album is dedicated to?
``Now What?`` , at least to my ears has the spirit of Jon Lord writ large upon it, with Don Airey in superb Hammond hammering form throughout. He especially shines on the tracks ``Above and Beyond`` and ``Blood From a Stone``, while ``Après Vou`s`` see`s Airey let fly in a spectacular musical face-off with Steve Morse that echoes the legendary Blackmore/Lord sparring’s of the bands classic era.
Ian Gillian, as always is a genius in left of centre lyricism and in fine vocal fettle, while Ian Paice and Roger Glover are in devastatingly brilliant rhythmic form. My only minor beef with this album is that Steve Morse`s guitar is a little low-key for my liking. His playing is faultless, but rarely does get the chance to really cut loose.
``Uncommon Man`` is an epic piece of music that starts off with some scintillatingly fluid guitar from Steve Morse before taking flight into a gargantuan classic/prog virtuosic musical free for all.
``All the Time in the World`` the lead single from the album plays it a little too safe and is the only moment on an otherwise near perfect album that fails to engage me completely.
``Vincent Price`` the albums closing track is a classic Bob Ezrin production echoing his legendary work with Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd etc. In fact it wouldn`t have sounded out of place on Coopers recent ``Welcome 2 My Nightmare``.
This is an album that see`s Deep Purple doing their legend proud and standing defiantly as an ever creative and relevant musical force.