The Dinosaurs of 70?s rock still walk the earth and this time with the same line up as on the previous album with the dreadful title "Bananas" namely:Ian Gillan,Ian Paice,Roger Glover,Steve Morse and Don Airey. It?s a whole lotta fun hearing Don Airey play so much Hammond B3 on "Rapture of the deep",and with those typical DP riffs made by Glover/Morse - I can?t stop to think about old classic albums like "Machine head" and "Fireball" coz it?s close to their sound but with a mix of the great 1996 album "Purpendicular". Gillan is just a shadow of the singer he used to be but he doesn?t go out on painful trips with his exhausted voice so it never gets ridiculous.
I have spoken to lots of DP fans about this album and most of them seem quite satisfied with the result - songs like "Money talks","Wrong man" and "Back to back" are all worthy the classic DP trademark. While others such as "Clearly quite absurd" and "Rapture of the deep" shows the best side of the more modern sounding Morse-era. Not a great album but surprisingly good to be a release from these tired veterans.
?Record them while they?re hot? says producer Michael Bradford. With such a great band like Deep Purple, the first couple takes are usually so alive and fresh, you can build around a powerful recording and have some amazing results.
The band spent five weeks recording the new album, "Rapture of the Deep". This becomes clear when listening, there?s a definite live feel about it. This is a different beast compared to "Bananas? a couple years back. Its harder, darker and more adventurous, a very cohesive album. I was hooked after a few listens and willing to call "Rapture of the Deep" one of the finest in their catalog. It contains NO filler and has plenty of memorable songs.
My first impression is that singer Ian Gillan sounds very inspired and full of attitude. Lots of questioning authority in his lyrics and he takes many opportunities. Guitarist Steve Morses and Keyboardist Don Aireys interplay is more refined and they get more opportunity to shine here than on the previous album. There?s some nice drum work from Ian Paice and the bass lines from Roger Glover are strong and steady. This album manages to have both the classic Purple sound and still sound exhilarating, innovative and challenging new terrain. This is Deep Purple 21st Century style! Here are my thoughts:
01. Money Talks - a well arranged progressive hard rock vibe. There are a lot of things happening in this song and it sets the tone for the album. Stunning. A great opener!
02. Girls Like That - a "radio friendly" song with a pretty cool hook and it has an absolutely cool keyboard solo.
03. Wrong Man - a chugging powerful groove. Once again a catchy chorus. Right out of the gate we get three good rockers and then something special happens?
04. Rapture Of The Deep - an epic with fantastic Arabic riffs and melodies. A very successful attempt at trying something progressive with purpose. Masterpiece #1
05. Clearly Quite Absurd - a simply stunning ballad that doesnt get mushy. Melancholy melodies which suit Gillans ?mature? voice perfectly. Masterpiece #2
06. Dont Let Go - the albums best rocker and a steady groovin? toe tapper. Nice!
07. Back To Back - this one goes many places. Fun stuff that could be called a great filler.
08. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye - a magnificent rocker, with great lyrics (yes, I piss in the water and burn down trees, I watch as the creatures fall to their knees. They aint got a clue as disaster looms, theyre too busy choking on toxic fumes) and a good up beat Bo-Diddley type drum feel from Ian Paice.
09. MTV - some fantastic singing by Gillan, superb lyrics again and wonderful solos.
10. Junkyard Blues - breathtaking, just listen to these solos. The energy is contagious. To describe it in words is impossible.
11. Before Time Began - A Deep Purple classic, with a psychedelic touch. Once again, I am impressed by the arrangements and the progressive feel. Masterpiece #3
Highlights: Money Talks, Rapture of the Deep, Clearly Quite Absurd, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye & Before Time Began.
I have to confess, I?ve made a mistake questioning a band with such a rich history as Deep Purple. Maybe they dont always hit that ?bulls eye? but each time they?re written off, they deliver one of their best albums.
Congratulations guys, you?re far from retirement! (Based on the advanced copy of ROTD).
One of the best albums by Deep Purple since the 1984 reunion. A great record that show how the group can still be creative and interesting even without Blackmore and Lord, and even with the youngest member of the group being over 50 years.
Don airey also prove that he was the right guy to take Jon Lords place in the band. He really shines from the begining to the end of the album.