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4 stars After a nearly three year break caused by Ritchie Blackmore's departure, Deep Purple returned with Steve Morse in his place and produced their last truly heartfelt and succesful effort, "Purplendicular". Purple are in extremely good shape throughout the record and only uneven songs like "Ted the Mechanic" and "Hey Cisco" stand out as less than impressive. The first one does have a good rocking chorus melody, but Gillan's bellowing and banal lyrics ruin it. That is the main problem with Deep Purple, they really could use a better frontman than Ian Gillan. The man was great in his prime, but he is obviously not that any longer!

The standout songs are "Sometimes I feel like screaming", "Cascades:I'm not your lover", "Aviator", "A touch away" and "Purpendicular waltz", a great closer. Morse proves to be a more than adequate replacement for Blackmore. Although he too is a bit of a speed-freak, his solos fit in better with the arrangements and some are downright awesome. Jon Lord is in top form as always and Glover is incredible.

People mat say "Bananas" is Deep Purple's best post-Ritchie album, but I disagree completely. Where Bananas falls into mediocrity after three strong songs (for the most of the album anyway), "Purpendicular" just grows stronger until the spectacular finish. And compared to other 70's hard rockers' albums from the 90's (Black Sabbath for instance), Purpendicular is a triumph for the band consisting almost exclusively from fiftysomething veterans.

Report this review (#47343)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the last dissapointing studio album "The Battle Rages On" which I gave two stars, this was a great return to form! Steve Morse added a fresh breath of life. What I like about this album is that it doesn´t feel like it´s forced creativity (Bananas comes to mind)

The album kicks off with "Vavoom:Ted the mechanic" and this track basically says this is a new Deep Purple and Morsey is in the house! Great opener and some really good guitar work.

After this great rocker things cool down a bit (in going a bit softer) "Loosen my strings"(With some great bass playing by Roger Glover) and "soon Forgotten" seem to glide into each other. Then comes a Deep Purple classic, "Sometimes I feel like sreaming" It begins slowly and has some great soul searching guitar work by Steve Morse. Now this is just fantastic guitar!! (a lot of fast runs up the fretboard balanced with a strong, sweet melody) This is undoubtedly the best track on this album.

"I´m not your lover now" is the first not so good track ,and I usually find myself skipping this one. "The Aviator" has a celtic feel to it and is done acoustically. Beautiful song!

"Rosa´s Cantina" has a great chugging beat to it and lets your mind wonder, I always seem to picture some bar in Mexico! "A castle full of rascals" is a good solid rocker with some interesting lyrics by Gillan.

Another soft song "A touch away" really sounds so peaceful that one almost gets that "all is right with the world" feeling. "Hey Cisco" shows Purple is still a band to be reckoned with and show just what top musicians they are, Morse and Lord really shine on this track. The second not too good track is "Somebody stole my guitar" which is very mediocre for a band like Purple, one would expect more.. The bluesy "Purpendicular Waltz" finishes the album with a different ,modern and interesting type of blues.

So saying that there are two "not so good" tracks, you will probably wonder why I am giving this album four stars? The answer to that my friends is it was produced by Roger Glover. He has done a fantastic job as producer and this is why this album is so highly recommended.

Report this review (#82873)
Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't know the reason I'm reviewing Purpendicular on this Prog Rock website. There's absolutely nothing Progressive about it. But still a "Must" for serious Rock fans. This is Deep Purple at their best. Check the instrumental in "Cascades" and "Hey Cisco": vintage purple alchemy. The duo Lord/Morse works incredibly as good as it worked (with Blackmore) in early seventies. Paice is travelling finally without handbrake on and Glover pulls out something more then just single-fret notes. The powerful voice of Gillan completes the opera. Every track different yet captivating. Great start (Ted the mechanic), tremendous finale (The Waltz).If you're thinking to check Purple's music, start with Purpendicular: it sounds fresh each time I listen to it.
Report this review (#88106)
Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#107408)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Be upstanding for a fine album

Following the release of "The battle rages on", a tour of Japan was planned to promote it. Blackmore's irritation with Gillan's return reached boiling point though and he quit the band again, this time apparently for good. The other members of the group went ahead with the tour, Joe Satriani stepping in on guitar. Having considered permanently retiring the Deep Purple name, the four remaining members were inspired by the success of the tour to carry on. Satriani gave way to ex-Kansas member Steve Morse, who has been in the band ever since, and the mark 7 version of Deep Purple was born.

The first album by this line up was "Purpendicular". The recordings took place in in Florida throughout most of 1995, the writing credits unusually being democratically shown as "Deep Purple" throughout. The band were clearly invigorated by the tour and by Morse's arrival, the album having a freshness to it which was missing from its immediate predecessors, while still drawing heavily on the strengths of the band's back catalogue.

The opening "Vavoom: Ted the mechanic" is slightly misleading as the semi-rapped vocals of Ian Gillan and the funky guitar work of the new boy are more reminiscent of Aerosmith than Deep Purple. On the plus side, Morse's contribution on guitar is confident while making it clear that he has not joined simply in order to imitate Ritchie.

After what is effectively a false start, "Loosen my strings" is a highly melodic, slightly slower number with a simple but effective guitar motif. Once again, Morse's guitar soloing here is quite exquisite. The impression is given that he is being allowed to take centre stage instrumentally as soon as possible in order to introduce himself. The track has similarities with the best track on the album "Sometimes I feel like screaming". This 7˝ minute delight is one of the best songs to have appeared on a Deep Purple album, ever. High praise I know given the band's pedigree, but this prog influenced song builds from a quiet start though louder rock interludes, carried all the while by a simple but delightful guitar refrain. The song describes the loneliness of being on the road, but the shared credit disguises which of the band members was inspired to document their frustration. It sounds as though strings have been added to the overall mix, but these could simply be the keyboards of Jon Lord. A truly magnificent Deep Purple song though.

In between these two great songs we find "Soon forgotten", a rather strange (for Deep Purple) heavy plodding number with a Black Sabbath feel. Lyrically, the song is best described as intriguing, with lines such as "Did you know the warriors of the flat earth have become the tyrants of the globe? It's round about that time again, She cried "It's all for one of my friends"".

"The aviator" is another odd song, the snare drums and mandolin sound giving it a Celtic flavour. Even Gillan's vocals are folk orientated perhaps with hints of Trevor Lucas era Fairport Convention. Another fine song though, but be prepared for something a little outside the box.

There are inevitably a number of songs which might be described as standard Deep Purple fare, such as "Cascades: I'm not your lover" and "A castle full of rascals". Even these though display a new enthusiasm and energy, the band clearly determined to show that with Morse on board they are operating as a coherent unit once more. Jon Lord's profile is relatively low on the album, "A touch away" being one of the few times when he adds a noteable keyboards solo.

In all, an excellent first album for this version of Deep Purple even if 80% of the line up comes from Deep Purple mark 2. Steve Morse makes an immediate impact with his fresh guitar style, while the rest of the band have clearly found renewed inspiration. From a prog perspective, this is pretty straightforward stuff, with only the best track, "Sometimes I feel like screaming" really pushing the boundaries within the song. The overall diversity of the album though does add an extra dimension for the prog hungry.

Report this review (#145761)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It was something like a test case when this album was released, in these following points. First, can Deep Purple survive without Ritchie Blackmore? The band decided to hire ex Dixie Dregs player: Steve Morse. Second, will the style of Steve Morse find its perfect match with the existing music of Deep Purple. Well, actually without Ritchie the band had proved still being good when Tommy Bolin replaced him with "Come Taste The Band" which in fact it became one of my favorite albums by Deep Purple. Steve Morse, we can taste him during the tenure with Dixie Dregs as well as Kansas.

Twenty-eight years after the band's inception, Deep Purple venture into the most adventurous album of their storied career. With guitar virtuoso Steve Morse replacing legendary Ritchie Blackmore (his second departure from the band), fans get the breadth of Morse's influences. The music horizon goes into uncharted beats like the finger-snapping Hey Ciso and Rosa's Cantina, and the acoustic-flavored Scottish highlander feel of The Aviator. The track like Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming is one of their best songs in years and it became popular in some radio stations. It begins with a soft acoustic intro before being rocked up to the turbo-charged chorus full of lyrical wit. A Touch Away introduces fans to the band's first true ballad, a lovely piece of acoustic summertime fare. What probably is like many people's favorite is the "Ted The Mechanic" which has powerful riffs and energetic grooves.

Some people reckon that "Purpendicular" is the most progressive rock album by Deep Purple. I find it hard to come into this consclusion, however, I believe that this is a very good album be Deep Purple. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#156898)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I don't think Deep Purple was prog band even in the great beginning of their career. After some line-up changes and full box of weak albums, at least they made some better music.

Album is recorded in almost classical line -up ( only Steve Morse participated instead of Blackmore). The music is real rock, without flirting with pop or other sweet noncenses. For sure, it isn't their melodic and energetic explosion of early 70, but I believe that the album is their best work for two last decades of XX century.

In fact, all the album is listenable. There is no surprises, new ideas or sounds at all. But at least it's good classic hard rock ( in Deep Purple style) , and many their fans will be happy with it.

Don't think this album will be interesting to anyone searching on innovations in music. But for old DP Army this is latest to time (2009) still quality album of their beloved band.

Report this review (#247258)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a comeback album! This album is superb from star to finish. The only thing that is not very appealing to me is the production because it is a bit to grungy, but that is a minor quible to me sure. The interplay between the musicians is at par with their best work of the 70´. Steve Morse is a fenomenal player with a sound and sustain to die for. I was fortunate enough to see this line-up in action and I honestly can't imagine a better replacement (If ever there was one) for Mr. Blackmore. We have all the elements that I came to love about this band, the humourous lyrics, the organ and guitar interplay. Simply fantastic.
Report this review (#308096)
Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars 8.5/10

This is their best album in twenty-two years.

And once again Blackmore left for reasons of ego. In its place came Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Steve Morse Band), and what can I say? This is one change that benefits everyone, the band's sound to the listener! Morse playing style is fresh and inventive, and hearing it is possible to notice here because it is considered one of the best guitarists in the rock world.

Imagine an album where while that is evoked the classic sound of the band are also presented new sounds. This is Purpendicular. Songs like The Aviator (my favorite here) are unprecedented in the band's discography. Even the blues rock (performed here in fantastic The Purpendicular Waltz) seems to be revisited here. Everything is going right here: even the voice of Gillian, with which I felt uncomfortable on previous albums, seems to work well here (he even gives some sharp as he did in the past, as the band Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming). But obviously all credit goes to Steve: it is he who renews band, in my opinion.

I am so charmed by this album that I can not hesitate to give it five stars. When I found that Deep Purple could never achieve its glory days, I am surprised with this fantastic work.

Report this review (#916363)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Totally surprising sound for the Deep Purple brand, with Steve Morse giving new life and some great moments to this legendary band!

That's my track-by-track opinion:

Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic: OK, that's a fun song, good guitar work by Morse, somewhat catchy... but what's so special about it? I don't find something. DP had a different opinion, and chose it as a single.

Loosen My Strings: Very nice song. Cool riff with unique guitar effect, piano effect on Lord's keyboards, nice elegant melodies. Very well done overall!

Soon Forgotten: Playful rhythm and lyrics, could be a Halloween song! Very interesting, they've never played something like this before! Thumbs up for the innovation and the result, which is very good!

Sometimes I Fell Like Screaming: The classic of Purplendicular. From the very first acoustic riff you know you 're listening to something special. A beautiful, elegant song with excellent melodies and stellar guitar work by Steve Morse. The sort, intense choruses just add to the colorfulness of it. Rightfully released as a single.

Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover: Very catchy rocker with a stellar simultaneous solo by Lord-Morse, ideal for single release. Ted The Mechanic a better song? I don't think so!

The Aviator: Medieval and folk elements on this one, a totally unique song for DP! Steve Morse really brought s desperately needed freshness to this band, and some completely new ideas for them and us to dig. What a beautiful song!

Rosa's Cantina: Funky rocker, more of a story than a song. Interesting for it's own kind!

A Castle Full Of Rascals: Enjoyable song, it grooves well, it's rich and it's very tight at the same time. Not special, but worthy.

A Touch Away: Yet another good song, with Jon Lord being the main man here. Not very significant though.

Hey Cisco: Fast rocker that sounds well (as the whole album) but offers nothing extraordinary music-wise. Like Rosa's Cantina, more of a story than a song.

Somebody Stole My Guitar: Ordinary rocker with some great guitar moments here and there, but nothing special.

The Purpendicular Waltz: I don't know if someone could actually dance a waltz on this one, but I know it's an interesting song with staccato rhythm and nice harmonica parts. Good, but yet again not extraordinary.

Don't Hold Your Breath (Japan CD bonus track): An out-take probably, and rightfully so. Mediocre rocker, Japan didn't gain something useful over us with this one.

RATING: Definitely the most colorful album they 've done, different than any other, effortlessly modern, and thankfully of a quality level overall. All those elements and the fact that it follows two weak albums introducing a new sound make people think of it as a better album than it actually is. Yes, it's interesting, we all agree, but only half the songs really matter and only one is a classic in my opinion. So It's a 3 stars album, no more, no less.

Report this review (#1378719)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars It was a very good event for the sake of music appreciators the exchange of guitar ace Ritchie Blackmore by the guitar master Steve Morse. It is not my objective to compare their qualities; but I do consider obvious that a band which was about to end could be reborn full of power and enthusiasm as a result of that interchange. Last efforts from Deep Purple MK2 (The Battle Rages On and House Of Blue Light pale in comparison with their golden era albuns; and Slaves&Masters MK5 may be considered purely dispensable. So, even the presence of a musician like Ritchie Blackmore was not allowing the band to record what is to be expected from a band like Deep Purple, and internal turmoil led them to a definitive rupture. So, the arrival of Mr. Morse got a lot of rejection from Blackmore´s fan base; which is easy to understand. But in my opinion the change was absolutely for good; and I point it out in the following reasons :

1 - Lack of creativity. Deep Purple was not able to produce a Fireball anymore (no masterpiece requested here); not even a Perfect Strangers. More and new compositional energy was requested !

2 - Mr Morse brought the missing creativity and allowed the band not to repeat an excellent album like "Fireball"; but to develop a brand new sound; a necessary upgrade in any first line band musical career.

Even the entrance of Tommy Bolin in 1975 didn´t brought such a consistent change in ther sound. Not that Mr. Bolin was a second rate guitar player (Tommy Bolin was also a guitar ace); the fact is that he didn´t have the time and the band was under influence of another musical giant called Glenn Hughes; the soul of Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band. But what exactly am I to say about this "new sound" to be found in Deep Purple MK6 e Deep Purple MK7 ? Let´s see :

1 - The compositions : there was nothing even close to "Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic" until that day. It was clear that Steve Morse was not about to substitute Ritchie Blackmore but to walk in his own heels. And it reflected immediately in their compositions

2 - The paper of rhythm section : Not until that moment bassist Roger Glover could occupy such a large space in their sound. It can be seen very clearly in "Loosen My Strings".

3 - Steve Morse is not a guitar player that sets his attention in playing a lot of notes as fast as possible. This is another reason that leaves more space for Roger Glover to give punch in their sound; and folks, I do like a lot this. The bass not only sets the rhythm; there are spaces for it to fill ang guarantee heavyness to their sound ! This new way of playing guitar which is clearly noticeable in a highlight as "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" ! As once was told by bass master Ron Carter; whose saw fine art in controlling rhythm patterns with the smallest amount of notes he can figure out !

4 - Variation between recorded songs. We have the opening number. We have The Aviator, with its country approuch. Rosa Cantina and Loosen My Strings. Songs very diferent one from the others. It is opposes MK2 reality; the four albuns of the seventies (two of them masterpieces), did not have that amount of variation even among between them

As a conclusion, it is a solid 4 star rating. The first five songs indicates a masterpiece; but the second half I considered not as good. They were knowing each other as musicians; but a lot of good things was about to come. And I suggest you to not miss Blackmore; time changes, band changes, but for Deep Purple MK6 e MK7 4 and even 5 stars are perfectly possible. Do not act like myself that do not listen Dream Theater anymore after the leaving ok Mick Portnoy...

Report this review (#1817413)
Posted Sunday, October 29, 2017 | Review Permalink

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