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Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers CD (album) cover

PERFECT STRANGERS

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.41 | 402 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
1 stars With a few note-worthy exceptions, the 1980's were not kind to aging hard rock and prog bands, and there are few albums which are a better example of this victimization than Perfect Stangers by Deep Purple. Each song on this release is gutless AOR schlock of the worst kind, that which tries to disguise itself as something its not, rather then just reveling in the power ballads and sing-along choruses of the day. I blame Ritchie Blackmoor, whose numerous (and quite good) guitar solos only highlight the desperation I feel from the rest of the band, who sound like they're clutching at straws in an attempt to sound modern, energetic, and a viable name in the rock-n-roll business. Blackmoor should have recognized the mediocrity of the whole affair and intervened... but instead we get this album.

If the title of the opening track alone-- "Knocking on Your Backdoor"-- doesn't make you groan, then you may enjoy the bland rock shuffle, trite lyrics, gutless vocals, and predictable song writing which follows. I have yet to explore the majority of Deep Purple's catalogue, but I hope that this is them at their absolute worst; in fact, the entire first half of the album is them at their worst. Instrumental performances are atrociously boring-- especially among the rhythm section (is a drum fill or moment of heaviness too much to ask?). The use of synthesizer is easy to forgive, since it was the '80's afterall, but Lord's keyboards are inexcusibly useless throughout. Blackmoor's guitar remains strong though, but as I mentioned above it only makes everything else sound even worse. And don't get me started about Gillan's vocals...

The second half picks up somewhat, with "Perfect Strangers" actually sounding like the band put some thought into their song writing (though Dream Theater's cover is better), and "Gypsy's Kiss" has a pretty schnazzy instrumental break-- the highlight of the whole album. But things crash and burn with the power ballad "Wasted Sunsets" and useless rocker "Hungry Daze" (did the band really just replace Paice with a drum machine?).

I like AOR and classic rock-- it's pretty much all I listened to before getting into progressive rock... but I would not hesistate to change the radio station if ANY of these songs came over the airwaves. Luckily, I've never heard any of them on the radio, which should tell you something about the logevity of Deep Purple's "comeback" album.

Songwriting: 1 Instrumental Performances: 2 (saved from a 1 by Blackmoor) Lyrics/Vocals: 1 Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

Prog Leviathan | 1/5 |

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