Thursday, April 25, 2013

Deep Purple - Now What?! (2013)
After 2005's good, but inconsistent, "Rapture of the Deep," the hard rock titans have returned with a knockout album that is, in my opinion, the best of the Steve Morse era and possibly the best one since "Perfect Strangers" all the way back from 1984. From the great riffs to the phenomenal guitar/keyboard solos to Gillan's vocals (which have held up surprisingly well), this is a much-awaited return to form. Besides these trademark features, there's also a good amount of experimentation especially with classical elements which adds a lot to the atmosphere and really complement the riffs well. Probably the best example of this is in the absolutely epic track "Uncommon Man" which features a rousing intro and is one of the most ambitious things the band have attempted yet. Another example of the band's experimentation is on the semi-prog track "Above and Beyond" of which the main riff could have been used on a Yes song. My highlights though would have to be "Out of Hand," "Apres Vous," and "Body Line." All those songs pretty much stand shoulder to shoulder with the band's classic work. They're really that good. In all, this album has surpassed my expectations and shown that even on this band's 19th album there's still plenty of creativity to be had.

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