Album Reviews, Artists / Bands, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

REVIEW: Deep Purple – Now What?!


Artist Name: Deep Purple
Title Name: Now What?!
Label: earMusic / Love Da Records (SEA Distribution)
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini

One of the quintessential rock ‘dinosaurs’ that helped pioneer many heavy genres 40 years ago, Deep Purple are not known for their line-up stability, but one thing they’re known for is their uniquely remarkable good music over the years. Victims of countless line-up changes, they have had a stellar array of talented musicians coming and going, some responsible for the inception of other quintessential acts such as Rainbow and Whitesnake. The current line-up, which consists of legendary members Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Roger Glover, and ‘newer’ members Don Airey and Steve Morse (although the latter has been with the band for almost 20 years now), presents the aptly titled Now What?! to the rock community, the 19th studio album overall, and the first after several years of silence.

“A Simple Song” opens the album in grand style. A Purpendicular-like intro is followed by a melodic war between guitar and keyboard riffs, in classic Purple style. Gillan sounds as good as always. “Weirdistan” follows with a heavier, sombre, darker mood. Morse’s guitar travels far beyond the imagination, while again daunted by the keyboard’s bold voyages. The rhythm section is as tight as ever – one of the best in rock for sure. “Out of Hand” is the first standout, kinda like 80s Purple in some parts, with a perfect sonic match between vocals and instruments, and a brilliant riff. “Hell to Pay” is a more cheerful tune, and “Body Line” follows suit. But the first surprise of this record is “Above and Beyond” – a magical progressive voyage dedicated to the late Jon Lord – best part being “Souls having touched are forever entwined”. If you thought this album would be more of the same, listen to this track first I’d say…. The ballad that follows, “Blood from a Stone”, is a quite bluesy tune, marked by interesting piano and guitar licks. “Uncommon Man” comes next and is another and an even better surprise! Another progressive and quite unexpected tune – for its grandiose melodies – which proves that this band is not just going through the motions. On this one, specific Emerson Lake and Palmer references are obvious, as the track is partially based on Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, which was also part of the latter’s works. “Après Vous” is more of a transition tune, while the first single “All the Time in the World” seems to be destined to be a classic. Instant gratification and immediate hook-on. “Vincent Price” closes the album that could easily be one of the best of the Morse era.

I guess that die-hard fans will never overcome the departure of Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, and will always feel that something is missing in any album that doesn’t have them. But if you leave that aside for a moment, you’ll see that this is a quite respectful collection of tunes from a band that still has a lot to offer.


Artist Website

NOW What?! (Deluxe Edition) - Deep Purple


 Deep Purple – “All The Time in the World”