Deep Purple – Now What?!

Deep Purple – Now What?!
Eagle Records – ER203182
It has been eight years since the most recent release from one of the more influential bands in rock history. And they come back on the scene and ask with their CD title, “Now What?!” Hard hitting rock and roll is “what.” Could you really expect Deep Purple to come back with anything less? The lead track “A Simple Song” may fool you for a bit with its mellow intro, but then the power is unleashed and that makes the eight year wait that much more worth it. “Now What?!” seems a bit more keyboard heavy especially in the signature Hammond B-3 direction. Perhaps this is a sort of tribute to the late great original keyboardist Jon Lord (the CD is dedicated to him) whose wonderful fingers helped flesh out Purple’s signature sound throughout the nearly five decades of their existence. Whether intentional or not, Don Airey does a masterful job with it. The humble guitar god Steve Morse takes a bit of a back seat to the keys, but fans of the axe slinger should not despair – there are plenty of powerful riffs and incendiary solos to keep you happy with one of the most intense being in the delectably macabre “Vincent Price.” Ian Gillan has had to reign in his trademark screams over the year, but his vocal range and control is still incredible. Check out “Aprez Vous” for a perfect example. The Deep Purple sound would not be possible without the often overlooked but highly talented and stoic rhythm tandem of bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice, the latter being the only member to play in every Purple incarnation. As far as the songs are concerned, well, the lead track is called “A Simple Song” and Deep Purple has always been known for doing special things with somewhat “simple” music. Maybe a simple complexity would be a better term. However you describe it , it’s obvious the band put a lot of passion into the writing of every song. No going through the motions with these guys as it is with some bands nowadays. So the band definitely answers the question “Now What?!” in an intense and enjoyable fashion. The wait was worth it and hopefully the rejuvenated Deep Purple will not keep their loyal fans waiting as long for the next one. – MW



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