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WHOOSH!

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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5 stars Whoosh Track by track review (Spoiler: it's pretty f****** good)

With 2020 being such a bleak and depressing time for Music, Musicians and artists, one would hope that as the world-wide pandemic (hopefully) draws to a close, we can start focussing on the new albums coming towards the end of 2020.

One of those is Deep Purple's 21st Studio album, coming a leviathan 50 years after the incarnation of Deep Purple's Mark II lineup. Deep Purple in Rock (1970) marked a turning point in Deep Purple's sound change, from early progressive rock, to a harder heavier stadium rock feel. Even though Deep Purple's live Performences have been unparalleled for the majority of those 50 years, their ever-changing lineups and soundscapes have led to mixed reviews amongst their many albums post 1973.

However, Whoosh (2020) almost transports the listener right back to that transition period between their progressive, and the nascent of their hard rock sounds. If one were to ignore the crisp and extremely detailed production of the album it could easily be a sequel, or even indeed a prequel to the great deep purple albums of the early 1970's. Whoosh one of Purple's longest albums, encapsuates that early sound, right the way through the 70's, as well as being a nod to (dare I say?) Modern music from Deep Purple. It's really got everything on it.

Track by track

1. Throw My Bones

The opening track, the first look we got into the workings of Deep Purple in 2020. Morse's heavy guitar riff drives the song, whilst Paice's drumming matches the pace and both complement Ian Gillan's voice, which hasn't lost a step since those aforementioned early albums. A bulldozer of an opening track.

2. Drop the Weapon

Heartfelt lyrics about the issues surrounding gun violence, once again the driving riffs return, but are complemented by some of the best lyrics on the album.

3. We're All the Same in the Dark

Hammond organs and harmonies!. A simple blues inspired song that proves Ian Gillan hasn't lost it with beautifully clear and conscience lyrics. Weirdly reminiscent of early Rainbow tracks.

4. Nothing at All

One of the best produced, and arguably the most beautiful songs on the album. The return to the melodocism of early Deep Purple was something rarely seen in the later albums. The exquisite arpeggioed guitar riff could easily have been a 70's Blackmore special, yet instead it shows just how much of a worthy replacement Steve Morse was for the Black knight. Gillan brings a softer lyrical approach to this song and his words really help to balance out the classical organ melody heard with the Guitar. The organs and Golver's unrelenting bass really finish the song of. When first realised got a lot of airtime because of its beauty and rightly so. Could also be a nod to earlier progressive work I.e. shades of Purple. It's a really good song.

5. No Need to Shout

This album is full of driving riffs and this song is no exception. A 70's sounding classic. Fantastic opening riff once again supported by Ariey's piano playing. Definitely a song where they show off a little.

6. Step by Step

Quite a gothic one, definitely a unique song on the album. I would argue that this the 'Marmite' track which has featured on so many albums released this year.

7. What the What

One of the less-serious songs on the album. Still very funky and proof that Purple wanted to have some fun with this album and they've let their proverbial hair down for this track. A skiffle and rock n roll inspired sound- a Berry-Cochran inspired phycadellic piano-heavy medley.

8. The Long Way Round

Pure stadium rock. Very Deep Purple. A song that evidently has roots in Purple's eponymous hard rock style of the early 70's. There's quite a lot going on with this one. God there's some good piano solos on this album.

9. The Power of the Moon

A heavy, darker sounding track. Rather macabre sounding Glover's bass is everything on this track. Morse's solo is pretty good as well. Quite a few tracks remind me of Floyd's a Saucerful of Secrets and this is one of them.

10. Remission Possible

Purple is definitely exploring a heavier side in this album. This one and a half minute instrumental show's of the band's talent to be able to wow audiences as unit rather than single out a particular member.

11. Man Alive

Reminiscent of Purple's Perfect stranger days. This was the 2nd song released to the public. The music could easily be a song written 50 years ago, yet the lyrics and spoken word parts are right out of 2020. Very ironic, when considering that the song tells a story of how the world was created. The organ parts once again come through. Quite progressive, another reminder of early pink floyd and yes albums. Feels like a Purple and barrett pink floyd mashup. One for the prog fans.

12. And the Address

At this point we've had everything so... I mean why not? This song was great when it came out in 68, this upscaled, slightly reworked version still kicks ass. The inclusion of this track really helps emphasise fact that this album could have been made anytime from 1968 until 2020.

13. Dancing in My Sleep

A hard rock and blues finale, with what feels like John Lord's signature style on the keys, straight out of the first few Purple albums.

Wow It's difficult to sum this album up in so few words. My only criticism is that it is not really a prog album In the traditional sense, but there are very clear prog elements here, and if you can look past this, and see it for what it really is- a hard rock masterpiece that could have been written in the early days of 1970 as opposed to 2020. It is an album that both encapsulates the glory days of purple, as well as proving why new Music from Deep Purple is still relevant in 2020. Purple aren't taking themselves too seriously either. Their not actively trying to relive their glory days. It's fun, silly, serious and the inclusion of their 68 track (and the address) was brilliant. Purple are still here, whether you want them to be or not!

Report this review (#2435524)
Posted Thursday, August 6, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars With their 21st album, Deep Purple become the first rock band to have released a studio album in seven different decades! A feat that testifies to this legendary act's loyalty to quality music. Whoosh!'s 13 songs alternate between DP's characteristic hard rock and blues, spiced with keyboard sounds and classic rock in general, resulting in a motley compilation that must not go unnoticed.

From a progressive point of listening, the solemn "Power of the Moon" and the heavy prog of "Man Alive", with its narration, delicious guitar solo signed by Steve Morse & ambient intro and outro, stand out. The latter could be viewed as the title track, tackling the issue of transitory nature of humanity, as symbolized by the man (a traveler of space and time) depicted on the cover. The band demonstrates mature restless musicianship in other tracks too, on "Nothing at All", with synth solo by Don Airey inspired by classical music, on the somber "Step by Step", which resonates with majestic sounds reminiscent of pipe organ, while the energetic instrumental "Remission Possible" is too frustratingly short.

A blend of raffish pop and rock heaviness is present in songs such as the danceable "Drop the Weapon" (cool off man, forget about it!), "No Need to Shout" (just shut your mouth and go away!) and the catchy "We're All the Same in the Dark". "What the What" makes sure to remind us that traces of good old rock 'n' roll can still be found in the hip-hop- dominated 21st century. Although none of the aforementioned songs is as outstanding and replayable as "Birds of Prey" and "The Surprising" from their previous album Infinite, the band, through this latest decent tracklist, shows it's still running strong, more than 50 years since its first riffs.

Report this review (#2487038)
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars Whoosh !

Here we go again, another 'lbum by Deep Purple. It is a kind of an unexpected one, because there was a lot of talk even by members of the band about the proximity of their retirement. Expected or not, all I can do is congratulate these gentlemen about this achievement of theirs; which IMHO deserves a five star rating because of the quality of musical contend and the stubbornness of recording this music after so many decades on the road. Deep Purple went through a very particular path in the world of music. Led Zeppelin, the other band in the realm of heavy music that rivals their relevance, happened to be conducted by four tight members, each one matching perfectly others skills to the point that no personal interchange was possible to happen. While formidable on means of musical growth, it led (pun intended), to a dead end after Bonzo's death. When Deep Purple passed throughout a multitude of members, if on one side it creates issues of identity, on the other hand it opens a great opportunity for the band to reinvent themselves. And this is exactly and for a great good what happened when Steve Morse entered the band; consolidating excellence in the music present in albuns like 'Purpendicular', 'Now, What ?', and in 'Whoosh', this one.

What have we here in 'Whoosh', to talk about ? First of all one of the greatest opener that I have heard, no matter what band or genre we are talking about. When 'Throw My Bones' ends, the only thought that passes through my mind is the desire of hearing it again or, better, an extendend version with more interludes between Steve and Don. The other songs that promotes a rupture of their traditional sound (there was nothing much close to them in other albuns), are 'Nothing At All', 'Step By Step'and 'Man Alive'; and we must consider this last one to be preceeded and connected to 'The Power Of The Moon' and 'Remission Possible'.

That's all folks. The quality of the songs commented above, their innovation when we look throughout Deep Purple's career, and also the energy of recording this music being as old as they are explains this five stars rating. And, ok, I LOVE Deep Purple !!!!!

Report this review (#2594276)
Posted Monday, September 13, 2021 | Review Permalink
A Crimson Mellotron
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A legacy band having some fun - this is Deep Purple's 'Whoosh!' album, the band's 21st studio release, and third one after joining forces (and practically rejuvenating themselves) with producer Bob Ezrin. Ian Gillan, Don Airey, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, and Steve Morse present a very fun collection of songs that impress the most with the fact that each one kind of reminisces a specific phase of the band's career, whether this be the 60s psychedelia period (with the re-worked version of Purple's 1968 instrumental 'And the Address', originally written by the late Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore), or the more groovy, sometimes bluesy mid-70s (on songs like 'Throw My Bones', 'We're All the Same in the Dark', 'What the What', 'The Long Way Round'), or even the gnarlier episodes of their 80s releases (we have the energetic tracks 'Drop the Weapon', 'No Need to Shout' and 'Dancing in My Sleep') ? no matter which aspect of their sound they take up, they give it a modern spin, whether this be through Don Airey's proggier keyboard extravaganzas, quite welcome if I may say, often reminding us either of Jon Lord, or maybe Rick Wakeman, or through Steve Morse's infectious riffs and crushing solos, very catchy and upbeat, he has to be the member who brings the most 'muscular' qualities to the latest Deep Purple sound.

But after all, is 'Whoosh!' a classic? The answer would lean more towards a negation; Yes, the songs are quite good, some could even go down as DP classics ('Man Alive', 'Drop the Weapon' and potentially 'The Power of the Moon'), they are catchy, enjoyable, and surprisingly strong for a band of their age, but the throbbing aggression and the tempting vibrance that so well define classic albums like 'In Rock', 'Fireball', 'Burn' or 'Machine Head' could hardly be experienced, and this is no surprise. The big celebration is to see Deep Purple still going strong, releasing strong LPs every couple of years now, and the fact that they have that much fun with their new songs is simply inspiring.

Report this review (#2693374)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2022 | Review Permalink

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