Wednesday, September 21, 2005

DEEP PURPLE ‘Rapture of the Deep’

DEEP PURPLE ‘Rapture of the Deep’ Edel Records (2005) Edel

Deep Purple and other classic bands of their vintage are caught in a Catch 22 in that older fans expect to hear the classics and have high expectations based on a band’s past performance and when a band does release new material they often get criticized as it doesn’t meet the classic sound of their past! For me personally I have enjoyed most of Purple’s output post ‘Perfect Strangers’ bar ‘The Battle Rages On’ and ‘Abandon’. This new album sees them carry on from where ‘Bananas’ left off with a few new twists added along the way.

Things get underway well after the spacey intro to ‘Money Talks’ – could easily have come off the ‘Perfect Strangers’ album. Sadly for me ‘Wrong Man’ and ‘Don’t Let Go’ lack any appeal but the groovy bass/organ coupling on ‘Girls Like That’ and the ballad ‘Clearly Quite Absurd’ is a typical Purple ballad although it lacks a really big chorus. The two stand out tracks are ‘Back To Back’ where Don Airey really takes centre stage with some cool keyboards and guitarist Steve Morse trades neat and precise solos with him. ‘MTV’ is a Ian Gillan classic with its spoken word delivery and barbed lyrics aimed at classic rock radio that play all the old tunes but never have time for the newer material by established bands like Deep Purple. ‘Before Time Began’ gives a progressive end to the album and again Don Airey & Steve Morse trade solos with each other.

Overall it is a good, solid Deep Purple album and one that certainly sees Don Airey stamp his sound on the band, although strangely Steve Morse’s solos are hidden away at times in the overall mix. Fans will enjoy the album which is by no means a classic but certainly a cut above their previous two albums ‘Abandon’ and ‘Bananas’.


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