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Deep Purple - Now What?! CD (album) cover


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5 stars Open this CD and the message is clear on the inside booklet with a white backdrop and purple lettering which reads(in caps): "THIS ALBUM IS DEDICATED TO JON LORD - Souls, having touched, are forever entwined."

Folks...and I say this without hype...this album is a classic Deep Purple album. Ian Gillan once said in an interview with Big Red on a Sarnia, Ontario rock radio station: "If the ladies are moving their bums to your rock record, you know you've made a great album!". There's some "boogie" and "groove" back in Deep Purple. They called it "Now What?!", but they should have called it "Don Airey UNLEASHED!" or "Steve Morse kicks your arse!".

This album is that good. Ian Gillan has never sounded better. Paice & Glover are at their swingy best. Without hesitation, this is Deep Purple taking risks and not boxed in like their previous albums with Morse and Airey. I liked those albums(shaky 3 stars at best), but I was irritated often enough and wished they'd stretch out and jam. There's evident jamming on this album and plenty of it sounds like it was recorded live like in the old days. Spontaneous is the word. There are things on this album you can't write - they just sort of happen. This a progressive hard rock album...not merely hard rock like the previous ones. There are solos and tradeoffs on organ and guitar like Lord and Blackmore in the '70s. "A Simple Song" is anything but. It starts off pastoral for the first 2 minutes with Ian Gillan in a contemplative vocal, then kicks in like nothing I've heard from this band since 1984. "Weirdistan" and "Out Of Hand" flow into one another and Don Airey is unleashed here. I will not reveal anything else on the album as it may be a spoiler. However, there is one more track on here that channels Deep Purple going into the Pink Floyd and Ozric Tentacles territory. There's hints of jazz fusion, as well. I imagine that had a lot to do with Bob Ezrin producing this (however unintentional). It's worth repeating that this is a progressive rock album with heavy hard rock overtones. Not the other way around. Perhaps a je ne c'est quoi feel to it. Someone's spirit was looking over this session. That someone was JON LORD. If the Purps are going to top off their studio output with "Now What?!", they've certainly ended it with a classic modern progressive rock album..

Report this review (#950172)
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Lordy!

Ah Deep Purple, the lead guitar magic of Ritchie, the majestic keyboards of Jon, the screams of Ian G.... that takes me back. Wait a minute, you say the band is still going, you say this is a new album? Surely not?! Alas, Ritchie Blackmore has long since gone back to the future with Blackmore's Night (new album coming soon) and John Lord is now entertaining his namesake, but Ian Gillan is still belting them out, driven on by the powerhouse duo of Ian Paice and Roger Glover. Steve Morse has actually been lead guitarist with Deep Purple for longer than Ritchie was and Don Airey's Purple credentials are enhanced through his time with Rainbow.

So what can we expect from the 2013 Deep Purple. Well 12 brand new songs for starters, featuring such Purple-esque titles as "Weirdistan", "Blood from a stone" and "Hell to pay". Fans may be a bit concerned by the first minute or two of the opening "A simple song", beginning as it does with acoustic and soft electric guitar introducing a reflective vocal from Gillan. Have the band gone soft?? Of course not! Before you can say "Child in time" the song burst forth in its "Perfect strangers" type, riff driven magnificence. Airey pays tribute to the late Jon Lord with his swirling Hammond sound, the track immediately reassuring us that this is most definitely a Deep Purple album.

While there is a definite feel of the band's classic years to "Now what?!", and I include in that the fine reunion album "Perfect strangers", things do not stand still by any means. The melodies are strong, the musicianship excellent (of course) and the production top notch. On the other hand, here there is a modern sound, swirling synths, and quasi- orchestration. The pace (Paice!) is relentless, the band are clearly intent on making a record to be heard standing up. Indeed, it is only when we get to "Blood from a stone", a title you might expect to bring with it a belting rock number, that we find not a ballad but a slow blues. The following "Uncommon man" has us checking that this is really still Deep Purple. This seven minute guitar led piece builds from a "Wish you were here" like intro through a mid- song fanfare to a "Knocking at your back door" style latter section. "Apres vous" continues the surprises, offering a well rehearsed instrumental jam with a brief concluding vocal.

The bonus track "It'll be me", written by Jack Clement, was originally a single B side by Jerry Lee Lewis, then a hit single for Cliff Richard (never though I'd mention his name here) and was more recently covered by Tom Jones. The version here mirrors Jones' interpretation.

Everyone will have their own favourite from this album of course and for me there are a couple of songs that make up the numbers. There is though a general consistency and every so often, songs such as "Above and beyond" or the delicious "Vincent Price" will jump out as being yet another highlight. Deep Purple fans will not be disappointed with "Now what?!" (although the title is about as good as "Bananas"). This is a first rate DP album.

Report this review (#953286)
Posted Friday, May 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars what a surprise !!!! I think that nobody could think that Deep Purple in 2013 could made a great disc . for me Now What is the better DP album since 1976!!!! Great jam session between Hammond and guitar as the nice years,a good work of Paice and Glover, Ian Gillan has not the voice of 1972, but his work is very very good.

, we can notice the role of Bob Ezrin: i know his work with Pink Floyd and in primis with Kiss (one of my favourite band, also not progressive!!!): in 1992 (after the death of Eric Cass, Kiss' drummer) he produced one of the best Kiss ? record, Revenge, and the same thing happened with Deep Purple after the death of Jon Lord !!!

.Highlight of the cd is Uncomm man (and the most progressive song of the album). great tracks are also Simple song, Weirdistan, blood from a stone and Vincent Price.

at the age of 65 - 70 years DP are better than a lot of youger band !!!

Report this review (#964630)
Posted Friday, May 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a comeback after an extensive touring for about 8 years! Hard rock giants Deep Purple shattered all the critics with Now What?!. It's an unique album with many facets. It's typical Deep Purple album, but on the other hand it's something else, as well. It's hard rock, it's symphonic prog, it's funky, it's jazzy, it's Perfect Strangers, it's Purpendicular, it's Yes, ELP and Pink Floyd, but most importantly - it's one of best and most balanced Deep Purple albums. The arrangements of the songs are precise. The songwriting is highly compressed and full of ideas, developed in accurate, direct manner. That means to create progressive rock album with hard rock means of expression! The "conversations" between rhythm section (Paice and Glover), organ solos (Airey), guitar solos (Morse) and The Voice (Gillan) are highly addictive. Highly recommended album by one of greatest bands ever! Deserved 4,5 stars would be rounded up! Another gloden page in Deep Purple's extensive and brilliant career!
Report this review (#964869)
Posted Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars In an interview a couple of years back, Roger Glover (or it might have been Ian Paice) said that Deep Purple were not sure whether or not they would make a new album. Not everyone in the band felt there was any point. But Glover (and I suspect it was he) said that making an album is like capturing a snapshot of where the band is at musically at that time.

Bob Ezrin, in a recent interview that was published on the Deep Purple site "Highway Star": "I said, 'If you want to be a contemporary rock band and be relevant give up, forget it, it ain't gonna happen and I'm not the right guy to produce it. No one will play this record on radio; no one will care about it in the contemporary business, but I you want to make THAT record - if you want to make that unashamed musically brilliant record, I'm in,' and they did."

Producer Bob Ezrin wasn't interested in taking on Now What?! until he saw Deep Purple play live. Blown away by the power of their rock and floored by the band's ability to play like a progressive rock band, he decided that if the band were willing to record that kind of music, he was in.

Deep Purple is one of my favourite bands and twice in my life I have gone through a Purple phase where I listened to nothing but. However, I wasn't really in the right place musically to buy the new album. Not just yet. Then I read the reviews and went straight away and ordered it. It hasn't left my earbuds for the last three days and I am on my seventh listen through. Make no bones about it, this is one of their best.

The Music: Deep Purple continue in the same musical trajectory as they have been going since Steve Morse joined the band 19 years ago. The general vibe of Now What?! strikes me as being a cross between Perpendicular and Rapture of the Deep. The music follows mostly a mid- tempo pace but sounds more like progressive heavy rock than it has for quite some time. One might suspect that Bob Ezrin played a big part in making that happen, telling the band to put that kind of live stuff into the studio recordings. Many songs include extended instrumental sections, such as Hell to Pay and Après Vous, with flamboyant solos and colourful introductions (Uncommon Man with its symphonic introduction, Après Vous sounding like ELP, the spacy effects at the beginning of Out of Hand and the pipe organ and choir at the beginning of Vincent Price). The production is sharp and sounds clear; there are no scratchy distorted bits like on Bananas and Rapture. The music is mostly heavy but with some slower parts (check out the intro to A Simple Song or parts of Blood From a Stone. Synthesized brass and woodwind instruments appear, and for progheads, Uncommon Man moves through different parts and instrumental sections.

Don Airey: When Don Airey was asked initially to cover for Jon Lord it was said that there were few in the music business who could take on that monumental task. But Airey had quite a background: Colosseum II, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake (Jon Lord had been there done that too), and many other appearances plus a solo album (he now has three). The man knows how to play a Hammond organ in the DP style but also uses synthesizers in his own way. He really shines on this album, having been given more room than on Rapture. Listen to the Wurlitzer piano on Blood from a Stone and see if you don't think of Riders on the Storm. In Hell to Pay, we are taken back to 1968 with an organ solo that seems to rumble out homage to Jon Lord. There's a weird synthesizer solo in Weirdistan, cosmic effects in Out of Hand, piano and organ in It'll Be Me, and various keyboards and dueling with Morse in Après Vous. Catch the powerful organ riff in Above and Beyond or Airey's work in Uncommon Man. At times this sounds like classic DP transplanted in the modern sound.

Steve Morse: At first hardly noticed him. Good heavy riffs and signature shredding but no acoustic work like Fingers to the Bone or The Aviator. There's no real folk, classical, or renaissance (okay we don't want Deep Purple to sound like Blackmore's Night) even though Morse is totally capable. A little blues and lots of metal and rock is what we get this time. He takes the lead or solo solo in some tracks and plays with his usual style. He's very Morse on Out of Hand and his Bodyline solo is very driving and funky. All the Time in the World's melodious solo is like something from Perpendicular. He takes charge in Vicent Price with triple tracked guitars. A big surprise comes at the beginning of his solos in Hell to Pay and Blood from a Stone because I could almost hear a Ritchie Blackmore tribute. And then there's some great prog work in Après Vous.

Glover and Paice: These two are always solid and steady, not flash. Glover keeps the simple but thunderous bass in control but lets some solid rocking basslines roll in Hell to Pay and Après Vous. Paice plays a good complex rhythm beat to Bodyline and seems to barely keep his sticks under control in the intro. There are no Chasing Shadows/You Fool No One mind- blowing percussion compositions but good work from the stool with tempo changes and use of percussion equipment. And just listen to that Glover/Paice rhythm section roll for Airey's solo in Hell to Pay.

Gillan: Once the lungs that made banshees flee into the night, Gillan now wisely keeps to his present range. We get only one "Whaaooh!" and maybe that's good. It can't be easy to be 67 and scream your head off night after night. Thankfully, there's no whine! I love Ian Gillan but at times he affects this whiney tone that irks me, and it's not here on this album. He gets close when he gets forceful in his singing but keeps his voice under control. There are a number of chorus mixes or overdubs which work on the album but will be a challenge to work out live. There are no echoes as there were on Rapture's Clearly Quite Absurd and Before Time Began, and no scratches as there were on Bananas' Haunted. Gillian's humour and word play still show up in his lyrics. So far, I like the lyrics of All the Time in the World best. "Like Zeno's toytus with Achilles snapping at my heels" or "Sometimes I sit and think. Sometimes I just sit".

Disappointments: Basically my only real disappointment is that some songs end the same way. Vincent Price, Uncommon Man, Après Vous have an extended instrumental section then a couple of lines from a verse or the chorus and then abruptly end. Especially Vincent Price could have been given a few measures more to really blow the top off. It's like waiting for the explosion and then missing it because you turned to a friend to say, "This is gonna be good".

Repeat playability? Seven times straight in the iPhone and once more in the car. Not all songs will please everyone all but each song has its merits. My favourites are Après Vous, A Simple Song, Vincent Price, Uncommon Man, Weirdistan, and Blood from a Stone. Deep Purple have added more progressive elements into this album. If you have the bonus track It'll Be Me then think of it as just that. It's a bonus track, a B-side, in a different groove. Not too much to say but the lyrics are funny though.

As there are sure to be some who don't see this album as I do, I will give four stars. But this has become one of my top 5 Deep Purple albums now. Very well done guys.

Report this review (#978221)
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars A lot of people have said that this album is a return to classic form for Deep Purple, but I actually disagree. I think this is a great album, but one of the reasons is that I think they sound like a band that is no trapped into trying to recapture their glory days. It's not an attempt to sound like they did when they were in their 20's (and indeed, a different line-up). It's and album that concentrates on who and what they are now now, and it's all the better for it. It's also their most progressive sounding album in a long time, with long instrumentals and sections which at time sound like ELP, the Doors or (to a lesser extent) Floyd, while still being very clearly Deep Purple at heart.

Jon Lord (to whom this album is prominently dedicated) was one of the great Hammond players of all time and though Don Airey is very good -- and technically perhaps even more proficient -- in previous outings I always felt the boots were just that bit too big. Well I'm prepared to admit with this album he's really made the keyboard stool his own. There is some really top notch keyboard work here in a mix of styles. Steve Morse has perhaps had higher points, but his work here is still very good. Ian Paice and Roger Glover continue to provide a really solid foundation underneath the madness while still grabbing attention here and their. And lastly, Ian Gillan. The voice that wailed out the high notes in Child In Time is no longer the same instrument it was, but for the first time since the late 90's I hear a singer who is working with what he has now and reaping the rewards in the form of fresh ideas and tricks. There are more harmonies and varied registers and the lyrics are perhaps given a bit more prominence.

The album was produced by Bob Ezrin. It's fair to say that his influence on this album is very noticeable and that the equal writing credit he gets is not merely a contractual obligation. He appears both to have brought out the best in the band and also to have injected some new ideas of his own.

As for the individual tracks: I don't think there's a bad track on here though I ignore the bonus track which, although just a bit of fun, rather spoils the mood for me. "Body Line" is probably my least favourite, being rather straightforward rock, though I've heard lots of people saying they love it. Hell To Pay is an otherwise OK track which is rescued by a storming pair of solos from hammond and guitar. The opening to "Out Of Hand" is remiscent of the Knocking At Your Back Door from Perfect Strangers, and is the first real sign of the album being a little different from recent, straigfhter, offerings.Tracks 6, 7 and 8 really set the second half of the album up and, in its place towards the end of the album, the single "All The Time In The World" which I felt at first was rather bland and unrepresentative actually stands up really well.

All in all, this has been my favourite album of the year so far and while I wouldn't describe it as full-on prog, it's definitely shot through with prog influences and is sufficiently interesting to keep my attention through repeated listenings.

Report this review (#1000413)
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I really thought that ''Rapture Of The Deep" would have been Purple's last studio release. As homage to this great hard rock band, I closed my review with these words:

So, maybe it is time to thank those guys for the immense joy they have procured to me (and to several other millions of fans).

In my order of preference (quite personal but that's it):

Jon : the instigator of the early days, the "soul" of the band who unfortunately left the band in 2002 even if he was not the most prolific in terms of songwriting. His influence has been enormous.

Ian (Gillan): for his tremendous input to the band. Purple really change directions in 1969 thanks to him and became the band we all know and love.

Ritchie: a fabulous guitar player. Great live performer (remember "California Jam") but so difficult to live with (although they tried hard). A bit the same feeling as for Roger (Waters of course).

Glenn: for his great voice and bass playing during a relatively short break, but IMO an imoprtant one (Mark III to V)

Ian (Paice) : the one and only remaining founding number. Maybe underrated as a drummer. Still, he belongs to my top ten one in this genre.

What a surprise to listen to a new album from the band in 2013!!! Great reviews, good charting (it peaked as number 1 in Germany). This album sounded as a great come back.

Unfortunately, I am not really found of this album. Most tracks are heavy rock oriented and little inspired ("Weirdistan", "Body Line", "Vincent Price"), bluesy ("Blood From A Stone", "All The Time In The World" but here again there is an excellent guitar break: but we all that Steve is brilliant) or just basic rock ("Above & Beyond") although there are some good surprises here and there like ''Out Of Hand'' with its ''Kashmir'' flavour at times. It features an excellent guitar solo as well.

In terms of great rock song, there is no doubt that ''Hell To Pay'' is by far the best of this album. It includes some "Highway Star" feeling in there if you see what I mean. Same good old structure: great guitar solo and then a superb keyboard one. I told you: "Highway Star" is just next door?

Unfortunately, there aren't so many songs like these on this album. Another one of them is "Uncommon Man" which features a great and very emotional guitar intro and raises the level of this work.

Needless to say that you should not look for any prog sound on this album (but Purple generated very few of these throughout their 45 years old career).

I REALLY do not understand that this album rates above "Machine Head". IMHHO, three stars (and this is generous). Five out of ten is my opinion.

Report this review (#1015845)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars New Deep Purple?! One has to be excited to hear that the band are still rocking after such a massive career beginning in the late 60s. The album title is "Now What?!" and I guess the answer is "Let's prove we are the masters of classic rock!" The album features a brilliant line up with Steve Morse on guitar, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Don Airey on organ, keyboards, and Ian Paice on drums. The real surprise is the return of Ian Gillan on vocals! He is a powerhouse vocalist carving a niche in rock history when he was with the band and in his solo career. On this latest album Gillan simply proves the old dinosaur can still scream out his lungs and still has one of the greatest voices in rock.

Deep Purple are riff masters and although Ritchie Blackmore is absent, Steve Morse has a great style and blasts out some dynamic riffs and lead breaks. The album is dedicated to Jon Lord, and Don Airey certainly keeps the flame burning with his keyboard style, and I am sure was humbled to be involved. Ian Paice is a genius drummer and it is great to hear his pound away on these songs. Roger Glover is an accomplished bassist, making an appearance on a swag of Purple albums, so it is wonderful to experience his style again on this latest release.

The album is one hour of old school style rock with a metal edge, and there is a lot of progalicious extended keyboard breaks and lead guitar workouts. 'A Simple Song' kicks things off, beginning slowly with nice guitar licks then Gillan in a reflective mood. The heavy rock kicks in with guitar chord progression and very heavy handed Hammond squelches. The keyboarding on this is simply stunning, a real throwback to the great freakouts of the 70s. There is some delightful flute on this too giving a pastoral sound.

After this delightful start they launch into 'Weirdistan' with guitar stabs over a strong bassline and drum pattern. I love the multilayered vocals and melody on this. A lead break cements my enjoyment of this, and what a riff that locks in with organ and axe trade offs in extended jam sessions; it doesn't get better than this!

'Out Of Hand' opens with gloomy atmospheres with a bell chiming and preternatural sounds, then a drone and symphonic violin slices, reminiscent of 'Knocking at Your back door'. A chugging riff enters and some very cool vocals, Gillan is incredible after all these years to be able to sing like this. The way the riff comes and goes with the string section foundation playing beneath is simply wonderful. Again the organ shimmers are absolutely fantastic. A lead break showcase Morse's inimitable style, with fast upsweeps and sustained string bends.

'Hell To Pay' has that Bob Ezrin anthemic production sound, he certainly knows how to get the best out of a band. This one has a Kiss sound but still unmistakeably Deep Purple all the way. The lead break is precision playing from Morse and I love the organ embellishments; Airey is sensational on this album. He has a freakout moment on this track channelling Lord almost in an improvised freestyle; listen to those keyboard crunches.

'Body Line' moves into funky territory, the tune has a funky 80s vibe and yet is as heavy as the Purple get, especially the guitar riffing and that crazy organ. It has a more pedestrian structure but it's still a great song. 'Above And Beyond' is a safer song with a pop melody but I adore the keyboard motif on this and it has a beautiful lead solo at the end. 'Blood From A Stone' has a bluesy feel helped by Glover's bass and Gillan's vocals are deep and resonant showing his age at 67 here. The organ is definitely akin to The Doors 'Riders on the Storm' and that suits me as I am crazy about that song. It builds into a heavier chorus then pulls back to the Doors like sound on the verses. Later it switches time signatures then a gorgeous organ solo like Ray Manzarek in his stoned phase. The song really grows on you and it is so laid back and emotional I can't help but rate this as a highlight.

'Uncommon Man' answers the prog question with some very nice progressive moments, opening with Spanish guitar, then a sumptuous symphonic sound like Pink Floyd. This is quite a surprise after the heavy approach of previous tracks. It is great that DP still want to experiment with music after all these years. Paice has some cool drum fills over this soundscape. Then a guitar solo blazes over and a rhythm builds up ominously with a ton of strings until it moves to a trumpet fanfare on the keyboards. Gillan's vocals are multilayered, and the time sig is off kilter in the main riff as he sings "It's good to be king". The organ and lead breaks are delightful. This is definitely a great song to showcase the prog components of the band.

'Après Vous' is a raucous song with a classic Deep Purple sound especially the riff and the opening vocal section. The time sig has a prog sound and it is a heavy sound from the Hammond and metal guitar that are synced perfectly. It unleashes into an instrumental domination, beginning with soft guitar tones over ethereal synths and a pulsating bass and drum. A symphonic soundscape enters then the staccato organ comes to the fore trading off with incessant speed picking lead guitar; a powerhouse of musicianship.

'All The Time In The World' is the big single and sounds more qualified for radio airplay. The melody is infectious with an uptempo feel. Morse's solo is pleasant but again it is Airey that really captivates me on this track; his organ playing is phenomenal.

'Vincent Price' opens with cathedral pipe organ sounds, like the old actor himself has made an appearance. It is a throwback to the Hammer Horror films of the 70s, such as "Pit and the Pendulum", "Fall of the House of Usher" or "House of Wax". Price was a master and this is a terrific homage to his work. It even has a Gothic female choir and some horror themes interwoven in the structure. The heavy distorted guitar is doom metal and the lyrics capture the horror themes of vampires, and "red blood dripping, she doesn't have a prayer, I know it's not real but I just don't care, it feels so good to be afraid, Vincent Price is back again." The lead break is excellent with a phased sound, and there are effects of chains and Gillan even has a yell like the old days; delightful.

'Highway Star (Bonus track)' is a nice add on after such a great album, and it basically cruises along the familiar bass and drum line, with some incredible lead guitar work, and more Gillan screeches. I always loved 'Highway Star' and I never tire of this, the lead guitar and organ on this live version are absolutely killer, and it ends with a lead guitar workout with piercing screams.

"Now What?!" is a bonafide Deep Purple treasure. I was hoping it would measure up to the brilliance of the past and it certainly delivers from beginning to end. The organ playing is brilliant and a real tribute to the work of Jon Lord who the album is dedicated. I can't complain; this is Deep Purple at their best. It is a real pleasure to listen to and it is comforting to know that not only are Deep Purple back in the studio but they are creating some of their most proficient musicianship and every song has its own atmosphere; they really prove they are masters of classic rock.

Report this review (#1016230)
Posted Sunday, August 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9/10

"Em time que está ganhando não se mexe".

That old Brazilian adage exemplifies very well what Deep Purple is doing here: without changing its classic and iconic style, they continue to offer their fans their sound ever, resulting in one of the most enjoyable releases of 2013. The title Now What?! shows the band having fun in countering expectations, since no one imagined that they were releasing a new album. And many, like me, were surprised by one of his best releases.

The sound here is much more than a modern version of their classic 70s, being an extension of all that has been doing throughout his 45 year career. If you are a fan of them (like me) then you will not have to complain. Members remain as proeficientes as before, and I have to give special congratulations to Don Airey, which proves a more than capable replacement for the late Jon Lord (who is duly honored and remembered in this album), showing tons of Hammond organ. What more can you ask for in an album of Deep Purple? I'm more than satisfied.

The first song, A Simple Song, is one of the highlights here, with an introduction idyllic and pastoral care that much reminds me of the classic Child in Time. In about two minutes the music gives an interesting twist, bursting in hard rock by which this band is so well known. Other highlights include the two longest, Out of Hand and progressive Uncommon Man (with an opening very Gilmour-esque), the bluesy Blood from a Stone and It'll Be Me (which is a bonus track), Above and Beyond is of course the sinister Vincent Price (my favorite here). But there is not a weak track on this album, and personally it's my favorite along with Deep Purple Machine Head, second only to Burn.

4.5 stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#1037106)
Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars My favourite album of 2013. Deep Purple show off a range of styles on this album while retaining that Chiddy Bevan dap feel for which they are so well known. Ian Gillian expresses some different vocal qualities as well as his usual feanish ones. Don Hairy does a fantastic job of filling the sadly departed Jon Lords shoes with some fantastic Mrs Price Hammond Organ sounds, as well as a few mellow chimpish ones. The songs are strong and varied and the band even honours the brilliant horror actor Bela Lugosi by including a song all about Vincent Price called Vincent Price. Neal Morse contributes some great lead solos on this album, often trading licks with Don Hairy and his bad mood sounding Hammond. Roger Groover and Ian Pace keep up that reliable Purple backdrop in their Billish Chinese way.

Deep Purple at their most Feanish and Buddylike.

Report this review (#1078834)
Posted Monday, November 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Wow, with the preceding Rapture, I had to get used to a Lord-less Purple, but with this one, I've got to get used to the idea that he will never come back. So obviously Airey will probably remain for a while as only the group's second keyboardist ever in their 40-years+ career. In some ways, NW is a logical musical continuation of RotD, this time with the ever-alive Bob Ezrin behind the production control knobs and more surprisingly in the songwriting credits as well - no details as to who, what, when and why.

Opening slowly with a quiet intro, A Simple Song gives you the general Purple hard-rock feel that the band has never really left (outside a few mid-70's errors) for the better part of its career. The slightly Kashmiresque Weirdistan is hardly worth noticing, though, and the following Out Of Hand follows more or less suit Gillan even sounds a tad Ozzy-esque at times, especially in some of the relatively insignificant lyrics - at least to the casual observer. While Bodyline could easily fit in the sonic realm of In Rock, but Morse is definitely not as prominent as that other guitarist. By Above & Beyond, the album has sunken in a Purple daze (no relation to Dendrix ;o)p)), that only a Rhodes in Blood From A Stone or a lengthy and slow instrumental intro of Uncommon Man. The rest is just average Purple stuff that ranks from filler to run-of-the-mill stuff. Highlights are Bodyline, Uncommon Man and Stone Blood.

Well, if at one point, I'd feared Airy might bring his synth that I'd come to dread in Rainbow and other projects, I can no stop worrying, because he's a perfect it in his two Purple albums, both musically and in terms of human image. Indeed, one couldn't tell the difference that the newer members (Morse and Airey) are about a decade younger than the three historical members. Outside these (very) light considerations, one can wonder what the point is to a new Purple album, since they all sound more or less the same and never seem to bring anything new. NOW, an alright album, but WHAT is the point?! Outside a Jon Lord dedication.

Report this review (#1083870)
Posted Sunday, December 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, lets face it, with the departure of Blackmore "classic" Deep Purple ceased to exist about four decades ago. Along with Blackmore were gone those excellent riff-based compositions that made the band one of the best Rock acts. The remaining (rather excellent) musicians kept limping along with little - if any - direction, producing forgettable albums. At this point it would have been wise to change the band's name to something like "Light Purple".

Finally, the recruitment of sensational guitar player Steve Morse appear to have rejuvenated the band. Their live renditions of Blackmore-era tunes are brilliant, as can be heard on "Total Abandon" and other performances. Their studio albums however remained rather weak, due to a lack of quality new compositions. They got the odd tune right here and there, but altogether little memorable material was recorded in more than a decade. One could tell that Jon Lord was getting tired, largely devoid of inspiration and had it not been for Morse's superb guitar slinging, this band could have easily faded into obscurity quite some time ago.

This album with a strange title and cover appears to be surprisingly good in comparison. Whilst I'd find it hard to pinpoint highlights, the album as a whole represents solid performance and somewhat better tunes than preceding works. Collectively, Gillan's unique voice coupled with the precision of Paice, Glover and Morse deserves recognition. Airey does his bit on the Hammond and altogether it works out quite well.

I wouldn't call it a great album though, rather an improvement. If I wanted to really salivate over DP, I'd fall back on their live works, any day. This one comes in just under 4, which all considered is not too bad.

Report this review (#1178475)
Posted Friday, May 23, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'll admit it- I've never really listened to much Deep Purple until I gave a listen to their 2013 album. I've heard these guys well perceived by critics over the years, and just a little while ago decided to check them out. I gotta say, I was also impressed. But I knew; I couldn't review a band after just listening to a 2013 album, I had to go way on back to their heyday in order to juxtapose this album with the classics.

And after listening, this song is up there. I mean, an album like Stormbringer (which I enjoyed), or Machine Head could not be compared to. It is obviously hard to match work from forty-three years ago when these guys were in their prime. Although I must say that their sound seems much more raw then their classic works. Not to mention they use much more synth on the release as opposed to the simple smashing of hard rocking that you'd see on In Rock (my favorite of all). It may be some sort of pattern that these old bands, once their out of their huge popularity heyday, that they come back with sound that is backed up by other affects in order to support their music which has dulled. Not to say that this dulls their music very much, in fact if you listen to the song 'Weirdestan', you'd swear you were listening to a classic Deep Purple track. Overall, there is a sound of hard rocking that still remains, and it is quite nice, maybe even nicer than some of their older albums.

So, if you are a fan of "classic metal", or Deep Purple for that matter, this is a definite release for you to check out.

Go give it a listen.

Report this review (#1293724)
Posted Saturday, October 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a masterpiece of music. Let´s go straight to the reasons :

1 - This album is a homage to Jon Lord. It is nice to see that those decades as partners was able to create a sense of friendship among those sixties boys. It seems Jon was a gentleman, an easy guy to be in touch; but there is an example in the same band that shows this is not as common as we would like that to be. Ok, this is not about the music, this is about emotion. But what is prog, what is music, what is art if not emotion ? This is well posted in Ian´s verses "Your souls had been touched, are forever entwined". This things grows in importance when you are more than fifty years old?

2 - The new way of doing and performing music was recovered and discovered as well at the same time. Improvisation is the musical core of those guys; and when Bob Ezrin saw them jamming he came with the perspective of producing them an album straightly based in their instrumental skills. Their songs come from improvisation sessions, where its roots are launched. So, this means a return to what make them formidable musicians; but not a return repeating the seventies. The new way of performing was so succesful that here in progarchives "Now, What ?" score less than just "In Rock" and "Machine Head", and I am in total agreement with these scores

3 - The music itself. Homege to Jon Lord, achievement of an excellent new/old style, etc... Fantastic but useless if the music is poor; but this is not the case. The Opener "A Simple Song" pairs with their best openers; maybe is not match only for tracks like "Child In Time" and "Highway Star". Even average melodies like "Hell to Pay" benefits from instrumental interludes and Bob Ezrin´s job as producer. And if we follow the album, we will see plenty amount of quality in songs like "Above And Beyond", "Blood From a Stone", "Uncommon Man" and... gosh there is not a weak one here !

It was a grateful surprise that Deep Purple was able to reinvent themselves in 2013, even if profoundly set in their roots. As a prog and hard rock fan I can only thank them to be so bold and compromised with music to the point of presenting us what was not expected anymore : a masterpiece of music...

Report this review (#1817419)
Posted Sunday, October 29, 2017 | Review Permalink

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