Thanks to Bradford
Boy, this new CD is one pleasant surprise. After
listening to the 30 second sound clips I had some misgivings. With a very few
exceptions (most notable being "House Of Pain") I didn't think I was
going to like this album at all!
Then the CD arrived in the mail and I started listening to it
and a most amazing thing happened. As each song played, I said to myself, "I
really like this song". I ended up saying this for every song - and this
on my first listening! I can't remember the last time this happened to me.
Just a few comments before I delve into each song individually...
"Bananas" is a perfect title for this CD. It's so off the wall, different,
fresh, unexpected, and great - just like the music. Don Airey fits into the
band seamlessly! I only hope that his performance will quiet the nay-sayers
who continually compare Don to Jon. Don Airey is the keyboard player for Deep
Purple and the decision to bring him on board was a very good one, just like
the decision to make Steve Morse the new guitar player was some nine years ago.
Now on to the songs...
HOUSE OF PAIN
Starting off with a funky, crunchy, Steve Morse rift (accompanied
by Paicey on cow bell, no less) then Ian screams, and it's off to the races...
Fantastic start for a new Deep Purple album! It's got all the elements... a
nice little Steve solo, followed by a nice little Don solo, and towards the
end, Ian on harmonica. This song (more than any other on the album) reminds
me of Purpendicular/Abandon. Favourite lyric... "My friends all say I'm
loosin it big time."
SUN GOES DOWN
Ominous keyboards from Don start this one. Kind of a syncopated
feeling to this song. Little Steve solo. Nice work by Don at the end. Favourite
lyric(s)... "I never tried to walk the walk 'cos the steps are elusive"
... "you know the line's so long it's almost disney"...
For the life of me I don't know why some don't like this
song, Ian sounds great... There's some wonderful Steve work, and it's just a
very nice ballad. Favourite lyric... "All that's left is the ghost of your
smile, it stays awhile then fades away"...
Didn't think I would like this song. (Damn those 30 sec.
sound clips!) The band is obviously having fun. Some great honky -tonk piano.
Favourite lyric... "I don't have the time of day, I don't know what day
Marvelous chunky rhythm work here. Power keyboard chords.
nice song. Favourite lyric... "Sometimes I ramble then I'm lucid"...
This is the 2nd of the Gillan/Bradford penned songs (the
1st being "House of Pain") and it's just a joy to listen to. A nice,
moving, slow tempo song. Favourite lyric... "Well the heart inside me burns,
and the world around me turns"...
PICTURE OF INNOCENCE
This starts kinda funky slow then starts rockin'. It kicks
ass. Contains a blistering Steve solo and a real nice Don solo. Favourite lyric(s)..."No
drinks, no smokes, no dickin around and no dirty jokes" ... "There
goes my mannish boyhood"...
I GOT YOUR NUMBER
Some very tasty Steve power cords here, and a great Steve
solo, followed by a great Don solo. "Great" song. Favourite lyric...
"Take it girl or leave it, don't be reading out the label on the can"...
NEVER A WORD
Starts out with 30 seconds of nice organ work, followed
by some nice acoustic Steve work for another 2 minutes. Then Ian joins with
some very pretty harmonies... he sounds great here. The song has a very "medieval-y
feel to it. Favourite lyric... "Never a word was said in vain, some were
never said again"...
A rocker! Nice harmonica work. Great back-and-forth between
Don and Steve. My only question... is Alice the "wonderland" Alice?
Favourite lyric... "Don't help me I'll help myself, I'll pull some crackers
off the shelf"...
DOING IT TONIGHT
For some reason I picture the band playing this in a open
air, small Caribbean venue, with Ian shoeless of course. Great Steve and Don
solos. Favourite lyric... "Let me tell you 'bout this cherry, I never got
a single bite"...
Too short... then again so were the lifes of the Columbia astronauts. Very moving.
A couple of more things I want to touch on... Roger Glover
and Ian Paice, the rhythm backbone of DP, usually don't get enough recognition,
I just want to thank them for doing marvellous work here. If
I had my fondest (concert) wish it would be to have DP play two sets; One set
would be this album in its entirety, and the other would be their "greatest
hits". Well, I can dream, can't I?
I especially would like to thank Michael Bradford. You sir,
have produced a "sonic love letter" for all us Deep Purple fans and
I, for one, will be eternally grateful. Bravo, well done!
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