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Deep Purple - Machine Head CD (album) cover

MACHINE HEAD

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.27 | 833 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alitare
4 stars Yeah, they could play, but could they write?

In rock proved that Deep Purple could play, and very well. But, In Rock lacked cohesive and skilled writing/composition. Does Their landmark album succeed?

Sort of. This is some tight playing, as always, and it is most certainly a metal prototype, but I can't help but feel the songs aren't as fleshed out as they could have been, some delegated for only showing the band's prowess (Highway Star, Lazy), or not deftly written or composed (Maybe I'm a Leo) or as lyrically as strong as they could be (the entire album) True, Deep Purple couldn't write a good lyric if their lives depended on it. This is nothing more than fast cars, fun women, flying times, and regular rocking lyrics. But, these guys sparked it, so kudos to them.

Highway Star is a fast and furious track. That scream form Gillian at the fore is shattering. Not to mention that soloing is splendid. It is the flashy rock they are known for, with a solid feel. Then we get the funky organ jam, Maybe I'm A Leo. I like it. It is fun, but it isn't spectacular. Everything feels so weak, and not well, Rocking! Where is the fire, the fury? No, I won't be detracting for being diverse, when the seeming diversity is at least enjoyable. But, this song is a laid back jam. Pictures of Home restores the rocking, and it is a strong song. The guitar is flying, and that opening line is great. Blackmore sure could play, and he sure could play classically. But, his solos never feel very distinctive. This one is a small exception, though. The flailing he produces is excellent. Great song.

Never Before brings back the funk, and I wish it hadn't. It isn't anything breathtaking, and slows down an album built on its furious rockers. This song lets me down, but the melody is nice. Just doesn't have that punch. This is remedied by the most well known song on here, Smoke on the Water. The riff is pumping, the lyrics are actually decent, and the whole song is an absolute highlight. Lazy follows. And seems to be a free form jam. That just so happens to kick a fair bit of ass. The bluesy solo that kicks and kicks hard. Although, this feels like Blackmore's way to show off his chops, it turns into the most ass kicking song, here. The jamming doesn't get old, and the soloing is inspired. Space Truckin' ends the album with a gallop rock. The distortion is turned up, and this song punches more than anything else, here. The drumming is great, and it is a solid tune, in fact, it rocks harder than anythign else on this album, except for the opening song. Great closer.

In all, the album suffers from what every Deep Purple album suffers from. They can't write lyrics for a damn, and they try too hard to show off, when what they are showing off is not new. This is a very solid release, though. The songs are fiery, the moments are memorable, and the playing is superb. Deep Purple's studio peak.

Breakdown:

Best Song - Smoke on the Water/Space Truckin'/Highway Star (They all kick approximately equal ass) Worst Song - Never Before

Pros - Skilled playing, Rocks hard, Interesting compositions Cons - Too flashy when the flash is old, banal lyrics, the funk.

**** weak Stars.

Alitare | 4/5 |

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