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DEEP PURPLE – Now What?!

| 20 June 2013 | Reply

Label: Shock Records
Released: May 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Deep Purple - Now What CD

Deep Purple pay homage to their late friend and former bandmate Jon Lord, who died during the recording of this, their Bob Ezrin-produced 19th studio outing and best in years – or is it decades?!

Don Airey’s keyboards richly reference Lord’s epochal sounds but it’s Ian Gillan who sounds in the driver’s seat as he leads the pack with a wonderfully confident vocal performance and a series of nuanced lyrics (courtesy of himself and bassist Roger Glover) which are dryly witty, intensely passionate and often beautifully expressive.

The band are strikingly virtuoso musicians, and from start to finish Gillan, Airey, Glover, guitarist Steve Morse and the band’s only constant member from it’s inception, drummer Ian Paice sound as vital as they have in many years, fluidly flexing as one muscle as they stretch each other on to greater heights. Slouches need not apply.

The fleeting nature and passing of time is a repeated theme throughout Now What?! – perhaps not surprising when they have lost a dear friend who was shoulder to shoulder with some of these guys for many years on the front line of rock.

There are some epic tracks on hand that deserve to stand tall in the canon of the band’s best work: Above and Beyond is as touching a lyric as they have ever written – ‘souls having touched are forever entwined / I may be leaving but not for too long / I’ll be there when you want me, above and beyond’ – paying respect to his late friend; the cheekily clever lyrics and irresistible melodies of Hell To Pay and Apres Vous, and the cod-horror fun of Vincent Price all add up to an album which warrants repeated listens in a way not seen since their 80’s reunion glory. |

Category: CD Reviews

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