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


Deep Purple



3.94 | 363 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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..

Gooner | 5/5 |


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