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Deep Purple - Bananas

I visited EMI's office in Sweden to listen to the new album, "Bananas". I would of course need more than one listening, to give a full picture of the album. In some ways it is "Purpendicular" (1996) meeting "Abandon" (1998), but in some other ways it is a unique album. Roger Glover and Ian Paice create a groovy sound. Don Airey is great, he is all over the album. Steve Morse comes up with some incredible stuff and Ian Gillan singing, screaming and play some really cool harmonica. You get a little bit of everything on this album. You have the classic Purple but they also goes into new territories. Here is a few short comments about the tracks.

House of Pain (3.39)
Quite heavy. Ian Paice and Roger Glover is great, Ian Gillan do some harmonica. This is the best opening track on a Deep Purple album since "The Battle Rages On" (1993).

Sun Goes Down (4.10)
Also heavy. Don Airey intro, lots of Steve Morse and Don Airey. This is the new kind of Purple. Very good.

Haunted (4.20)
The ballad of the album and also the first single. Radio friendly, but still Purple.

Razzle Dazzle (3.28)
Little bit weaker, but still good. Piano solo from Don Airey

Silver Tongue (4.03)
The new kind of Purple. Perhaps the best track on the album. Don Airey is great.

Walk On (7.04)
Laid back song. Cool track. Lots of Don Airey, both intro and outro.

Pictures of Innocence (5.11)
Kind of "makes no sense structure", like "Soon Forgotten" from "Purpedicular". Still, it is very different from "Soon Forgotten".

I've Got Your Number (5.59)
There is a small part which reminds me of "Cascades" from "Purpedicular.

Never A Word (3.46)
Starts with a long instrumental part. Acoustic guitar. Sounds like nothing Purple have done before.

Bananas (4.49)
The fastest song of the album. Steve Morse and Don Airey having fun. Some harmonica from Ian Gillan.

Doing It Tonight (3.27)
Perhaps the weakest track on the album.

Contact Lost (1.27)
A short instrumental piece by Steve Morse.

A short summary:
When I begun to listen to Deep Purple for more than 25 years ago, it was the diverse albums like "Fireball" and "Who Do We Think We Are" I enjoyed the most. "Bananas" is in the same vein. It's more like "The House Of Blue Light" than "Perfect Strangers".

I think the mix is quite good on the album. You have the familiar Purple sound, but they also take you on some new rides. How this album will stand the test in the long run, we will see, but I looking forward to discover this album. It will also be interesting to see what they can do with these songs live.

Benny Holmstrom

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