Artist: Deep Purple
Listenability Scale: 80%
Released by: CMC International
A Review by:
The Dude on the Left

Deep Purple is a band I really enjoyed during the early eighties, but I just kinda lost interest in the early nineties. When I heard I was going to review the new Deep Purple album, “Purpendicular,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. The last Deep Purple album I bought was “Nobody’s Perfect,” which is an excellent live album, but that was about ten years ago, and I had no idea what they had been doing since then.

“Purpendicular” has all the members of the classic “Mark 2” lineup, except for Richie Blackmore, who was replaced by Steve Morse(of Kansas), Ian Gillan on vocals, John Lord on keyboards, Roger Glover on bass and Ian Paice on drums. The first thing I have to say, as a Richie Blackmore fan, is I’m very impressed with the way Steve Morse stepped into the band. I think he is more of a “band” player than Richie was, and he makes up for what Richie with blazing no holds barred solos, tight crisp playing, and a great meshing with the rest of the band.

The song “Loosen My Strings” has a definite “Kansas” sound to it, in the way John Lord keyboard jams and Steve Morse’s guitars intertwine, kinda like “Point of No Return,” while “Hey Cisco” has a more classic Deep Purple guitar/organ jam that made the band’s sound so unique. “Ted the Mechanic” is my personal favorite; great guitar and it showcases the bands ability to tell a story. As far as lyrics coming to mind, its from “Somebody Stole My Guitar,” a song about a memorable drinking session. “My head is getting lighter, The mood is getting darker, Tequila’s being poured.” Sounds like the start of most good stories. “I’m Not Your Lover” is a showcase for John Lord’s awesome organ work while “The Aviator” on first listen sounds like a puss song, but it kind of grew on me. The guitar work is really spacy, almost Grateful Dead like, the intro to “Rosa’s Cantina” reminded me of “Hush” in both sound and feel. “Soon Forgotten” was the only song I really didn’t like at all. After the first few listens I had to skip over it, the rhythm was just too grating for me.

The one minor disappointment was that the jams were almost too clean. There wasn’t the reckless abandon that you could here in a song like “Child in Time” or “Space Truckin’,” but hey you can’t live in the past. Overall “Purpendicular” is a really good album, I give it an 80% on the Entertainment Ave! listenability scale, and I’m looking forward to seeing these guys tour the next time around since I just missed their last tour.

‘Till next time – Hang Loose!