2017COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Ian Gillan - vocals * Steve Morse - guitar * Roger Glover - bass * Ian Paice - drums * Don Airey - keyboardsTRACK LISTING:
01 Time For Bedlam * 02 Hip Boots * 03 All I Got Is You * 04 One Night In Vegas * 05 Get Me Outta Here * 06 The Surprising * 07 Johnny's Band * 08 On Top Of The World * 09 Birds Of Prey * 10 Roadhouse BluesRATING: WEBLINKS: www.deeppurple.com
Four years between albums seems like a short timespan for a veteran act like Deep Purple, but with what's surely an ever dwindling career in front of them, the band have reunited with producer Bob Ezrin with this follow-up. 'Now What?!' seemed like a worthy effort upon release, but it occurred to me I haven't listened to it since 2013 itself, which says little for its longevity or interest levels. This seems to be the blueprint for modern day Purple, with many of their Morse era albums lacking the bite of the Ritchie Blackmore
years, even the worst ones ('The Battle Rages On'?) 'Infinite' seems to follow the trends of recent albums, low key and bluesy, with traces of Purple's traditional sound. Is it enough to warrant repeated listens however? The jury is out on that one and may be for an extended period.
'Time For Bedlam' was the opening single and is probably the pick of the bunch here. It has a vitality most of the album doesn't and offers up some 70's Purple sounds, recalling pieces of 'Machine Head' especially. Morse appears to be doing a Blackmore impersonation here, some of his licks recalling guitar lines heard on the 'Burn' album 43 years ago. 'Hip Boots' contains a chorus I'd expect more on an Ian Gillan
solo album, but aside from that it's just another mid-tempo blues workout you've heard many times before. You can toss 'All I Got Is You' into that heap as well, flickering occasionally with some keyboard and guitar duels, but this one fails to move me melodically. The poorly titled 'One Night In Vegas' documents some wild night of Gillan's in Sin City, with plenty of piano in the background. Look this just bores me. I've heard this type of throwaway track from this lineup too many times to count now. 'Get Me Outta Here' is a bombastic jam with a labored chorus, virtually identical to the track before it. 'The Surprising' shows some progressive leanings, a lengthy keyboard solo offering shades of the late 60's, mixed with some quaint introspective sections. Infuriatingly 'Johnny's Band' offers more half-baked hard rock, the stale keyboard and guitar lines just grating on my nerves, along with Gillan's vocals. There's little more to be said about either 'On Top Of The World' or 'Birds Of Prey' either, just two more faceless tunes. If you've heard any of the last five albums you'll know what I mean. A cover of The Doors
' 'Roadhouse Blues' seems a lazy way to finish the album, offering nothing the original didn't have.
I've listened to this numerous times now and I simply cannot get a feel for it. This has been the case for every album since 'Purpendicular' and it's a shame. Obviously Purple are over the hill and their best days evaporated decades ago, but is there any reason they should sound this dull and uninspired? This truly sounds like music for old men. It all depends on your personal taste, but if you elect to avoid this album you haven't missed anything at all.
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