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Deep Purple - Purpendicular CD (album) cover

PURPENDICULAR

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.68 | 392 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Mark VII...

A major change in the line-up (one more). Due to the impossible behaviour of Blackmore during their last tour (1993); this time Gillan got rid of him (and for good). Steve Morse (from Kansas which was agonizing - not Steve, but Kansas of course) joins the band as lead guitarist. In terms of musicianship, there is no problem : Steve is a very skilled and talented guitar player. So, let's see (or hear ...).

I was not quite convinced with the opener : "Vavoom - Ted The Mechanic" is a bit too jazz / funky oriented for my ears. "Loosen My Strings" is a great rock ballad with one of the most melodious chorus of any Purple song so far. A great, inspired and emotional guitar break will bring you (almost) to heaven. The background piano playing from Jon is absolutely wonderful. This is almost a prog track !

"Soon Forgotten" on the contrary is 100% hard rock like the Purple produced in 70-72. Jon is hurting his keyboard like a savage : it is another good Purple song. On the next one "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" we can notice Steve's influence : it is almost a Kansas track (except the violin, of course). Starting slowly, then building up crescendo with a powerful backing band and again a great guitar solo from Steve. I believe that the band gained in having sacked Ritchie. At least, they can concentrate on their music and not any longer on their conflicts (similar stuff as with the Floyd and Waters).

"Cascades I'm Not Your Love" sounds like it is coming straight out the "Machine Head" sessions. Hard but melodious, great rythm work from Ian and Roger. It is a wonderful number (a little brother to "Highway Star"). Fabulous and heavy keys. Very impressive.

After such a great song, the listener has unfortunately to come back to earth again although that with such a tilte " The Aviator", we could have been brought again to heaven. But it is not the case. It is the weakest song of the album. The next track being the second and last one. "Rosa's Cantina" sounds like a Mexican title song. It is a funky-jazzy and repetitive track. Poor.

We are right back on track with "A Castle Full Of Rascals" : pure hard-rock again. But of the best vein (there are even some spacey moments in there). It reminds me at times of "No, No, No" from "Fireball". "A Touch Away" is weaker, but I guess it is very hard to produce only masterpieces on an album. Don't worry : the great Purple is back with "Hey Cisco" : an accelerated track (almost like "Fireball" ). It has a very nice and celestial break and then ends in a furious guitar solo interrupted with Jon's keyboard. This is another of the numerous highlights of this great album. "Somebody Stole My Guitar" and "The Purpendicular Waltz" are average hard rock songs.

"Perpendicular" is not a masterpiece, but a great hard rock album. Very few bands have produced so many good albums over such a long period of time (and the story is not over yet). Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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