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Deep Purple - Abandon CD (album) cover

ABANDON

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

2.85 | 315 ratings

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TCat
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Released in 1998, "Abandon" is the 2nd DP album to feature Steve Morse's guitar as a suitable replacement for Blackmore. The band's previous album proved the new guitarist would fit in well with the rest of the team. However, this follow up seems to see the band falling a bit into using substandard tracks that end up being a bit forgettable. Yes, there are a couple of really great tracks here, and Gillan seems to be sold on this new line-up at times, but the 2nd half of the album really falls into mediocre songs and his excitement definitely wanes. The predictability factor ends up playing a big part after the first 5 tracks, and then you are stuck with a somewhat weaker version of the usual formula. Yes Morse and Jon Lord are great together and seem to hit it off well with this more accessible blues/rock sound, but then it's like the band decided to play it too safe and ended up passing off songs that just don't seem to carry a lot of weight.

Any Fule Kno That - Going for a hard funky sound who's riff borrows from "Walk This Way". Lord adds to the song with his trademark organ in the inst. break.

Almost Human - Smoothed out hard rock that tends to lose any excitement built up over the first track. Morse's blues style rock is more conventional than Blackmore's but the signature sound is lost and the album is already starting to suffer from it.

Don't Make Me Happy - Morse's influence is really felt in this slow-blues track. A bit of an improvement after the last lackluster track as there is a bit of soul to his guitar style and to Gillan's vocals. It works on this one, but the ending sort of dies.

Seventh Heaven - The riff is a little more complex here, but there is a movement towards the more mediocre sound of the album. Gillan looses interest again, but the instrumental break is great.

Watching the Sky - Heavy riff melds into an uncharacteristic ambient and psychedelic verse which continues to alternate back to heaviness and back again. Probably the most original of the songs on the album with a great guitar solo.

Fingers to the Bone - Back to mediocrity with a weaker track and Gillan's not too excited about this song either from the sounds of it. Nice piano in the middle, but it can't save the track.

Jack Ruby - Has a bit of the retro DP sound, blues with a "bop", but the spirit seems to be missing here. Gillan does try to make it exciting with his high pitched insertions here and there, but otherwise seems a little bored with it.

She Was - Again, nothing to get too excited about.

Whatsername - Same as the last track.

'69 - A pretty good hard rocker with a rousing guitar riff and a faster tempo help to wake things back up again a bit. Gillan comes back to life while Lord and Morse play off of each other quite well. The chorus is a bit unimaginative, but overall, it's a better track.

Evil Louie - And it's back to the mediocre again.

Bludsucker - Gillan tries his hand at an earlier DP track that came from the album "Burn" when Coverdale took his place as vocalist. I think he wanted to prove he could easily hit those high notes and belt them out quite convincingly, which he does. However, it's still only an average song in the first place, and not much else changes here. The organ is nice and serves as a swan song for Jon Lord.

This would end up being Jon Lord's last album with the band. With this album, the overall feel is that, other than the 3 really good tracks "Don't Make Me Happy", "Watching the Sky" and "'69", it just doesn't leave much of an impact, which is really too bad after the exciting "Purpendicular" album which was the debut of Morse with the band. Would there be any hope of DP having another great album now with Lord gone? Only time would tell. In the meantime, you have an okay effort here with Abandon, but again, it's not anything to get overly excited about. Just a few great tracks among a lot of average tracks.

TCat | 3/5 |

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