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Rainbow - Bent Out of Shape CD (album) cover




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3.00 | 165 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars (Fullfillingness) first finale

Having hit on a formula for creating radio friendly pop rock music, Ritchie kept the same line up together one more time (except for a substitution on drums) for this the band's first final album. This is therefore pretty much a non-starter in prog terms, but that does not mean it should be avoided altogether.

I actually find there is plenty to enjoy here. We do of course have the obvious rehashes of songs which provided hits in the past, the opening "Stranded" being a thinly disguised amalgam of "I surrender" and "Can't happen here". Even here though we are treated to a fine if all too quick burst of Ritchie 's fine lead guitar.

It is though tracks such as"Can't let you go" which light my fire. The track features a "Toccata" like organ introduction by David Rosenthal before bursting into a highly melodic Blackmore/Turner song. Tuner actually sounds rather Dio like for the song, giving one of his finest vocal performances during his entire time with the band. "Fire dance" has a real Deep Purple feel, mixing "Fireball" and "Burn" with (relatively) more recent songs like "Not responsible". The driving organ sound is of course straight from the Jon Lord songbook.

"Anybody there" is a beautiful organ backed bluesy guitar instrumental in the Gary Moore vein, but it remains rather undeveloped. The other instrumenal on the album is a surprising cover of "The snowman" ("walking in the air"). Surprising because it really is very good, bringing out the beauty of the underlying melody, upon which Ritchie improvises superbly. Those familiar with the more recent versions by Oceansize and Nightwish should check out this version too.

The single actually chosen from the album, "Street of dreams" is pure AOR in the Journey and REO Speedwagon mould. As such, it is melodic and pleasant, but completely disposable.

Lengthwise, there is no feature track here, just a collection of 3-4 minute pop rock numbers. This is though an album of significant underlying quality, albeit in fields other than prog. Recommended for fans of all things Blackmore.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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