[ d e e p P u r . p l e )
The Highway Star

Top of feature

Reviews of Bananas
Amazon UK
Associated Press
Business Standard
Classic Rock Revisited
Moe Cullity
Robert Daems
Electric Basement
Rich Franz
Fabricio Geo
Robert Gloria
Rasmus Heide
Tracy Heyder
Dave Hodgkinson
Paer Holmgren
Benny Holmström
Ted Hurst
Ed 'Janx' Jankauskas
Fredrik Jiglund
Dennis Karlsson
Martin Karski
Mark Dorson King
Stefan Krüger
Christer Lorichs
Don Love
Jeremy Marples
Melodic Rock.com
René Mikkelsen

The Music Index
Stathis Panagiotopoulos

Rob Prior
The Profile
Julian Radbourne
La Repubblica
Dave Rudders
Attila Scholtz
Garry Smith
Jan Thielking
Catrin Wiegand

Chart Attack
Scunthorpe Telegraph
Le Zine

New album stuff
Gatefold vinyl Bananas
Studio photos
2003 promo photo
Jon Lord's Bananas
Does Jon Lord like Bananas?
Charting Bananas
Associated Press
Bananas in Berlin
The pros of Bananas

Related sites
Roger Glover's website
Ian Gillan's website
Michael Bradford's website

Imaginary reviews
Your reviews
Your reviews 2
Your reviews 3
Your reviews 4

Back to Specials index


Fresh Bananas

Fresh is what Deep Purple's latest album is all about. For starters, its name “Bananas” is blatantly fresh, a seemingly conscious effort by the band to avoid the cliché ominous sounding title; titles which have become as passé as concert goers sporting mullet haircuts and black T-shirts. “Bananas” is a playful name, equally as much as the music is. Enough of the controversy already !

Did I mention the album is fresh? Fresh musicianship, fresh performances, fresh songs, fresh producer, and fresh sonics are all peeled into “Bananas”. Enough of pronouncing fresh already !

Producer Michael Bradford's contemporary outlook takes the songs, performances, and recording sonics into waters previously unchartered by Deep Purple. The songs are fluid, polished, and excellently produced. The band's performance sounds youthful and energized, pretty bloody amazing considering these chaps are on the sunny side of their 50's. According to Bradford's account (www.chunkystyle.com), Deep Purple was brought “to one of LA's finest studios”, evident by sonics never before (ahem) achieved on a Purple recording. Enough of exposing all of our birthdays already!

“Bananas” is undoubtedly chock-full of radio friendly songs. The upbeat “House Of Pain”, the flowing ballad “Haunted”, the irrepressible “Bananas”, the contagious “Razzle Dazzle”, and even the bluesy “Walk On” all have radio potential. “I've Got Your Number” has a memorable hook line, but might require edits for radio play. This album certainly has the potential to finally break Deep Purple past the radio sound barrier once and for all. Enough is enough !

“Bananas” brings forth a variety of musical flavors. “Doing It Tonight” is a catchy Caribbean shuffle with a gripping Hammond solo which perfectly fits the style of music from the Gulf region (yep!, yep!). Blues afficianados will appreciate “Picture of Innocence” and “Walk On”. And of course, a Deep Purple record should not be without dissonance and drama. The songs “Sun Goes Down” and “Silver Tongue” live up to that trademark. On somewhat of a reverent vein, “Never A Word” floats an atmospheric chant over clean guitars and keyboards. Finally, it is documented that “Contact Lost” represents a memorial to the tragic 2003 loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew. One listens to this tribute and mentally pictures the glorious flight of the shuttle, only to sadly envision the final moments of its grim fate.

Steve Morse, who reincarnated and rejuvenated Deep Purple with his guitar mastery continues to shred scales with his blistering leads. The warm “brown” sound of his power chords and rhythm playing, which was pioneered by Eddie Van Halen, is achieved by Steve's preference for Peavey EVH 5150 amplifiers. Don Airey's inclusion to the band is virtually seamless, his playing is strongly reminiscent of Jon Lord's, so strong in fact the listener forgets Jon ever departed. Just as impressive is the sound of Roger Glover's bass; it sounds smooth and contemporary, even fretless. “Sun Goes Down” features a nice fluid bass passage. A Bradford influence perhaps ? The two Ian's Gillan and Paice are stellar of course. Paicey's drumming is clean, well controlled, and crisp. Gillan's vocals are strong as ever, with the lyric “two in the hands, one in the bush” destined to be forever a classic line. The imagery that line conjures up !

“Bananas” is a statement by the band that they continue to pioneer hard rock. They are not simply satisfied to regurgitate the “classic rock” genre, a label that has unfairly been hung on them by unknowing media types. Deep Purple strives to stretch into new (and fresh!) musical frontiers, a fact that listeners of “Bananas” will most certainly appreciate and enjoy. Enough of this critique already ! Go and get a bunch of "Bananas" !

Robert Gloria

Back to front


Donor Section

[ en-gb ] [ en-us ] [ de ] [ ja ] [ it ] [ pl ]


Subscribe to:
The Highway Star Update!

Participate in:
Purple discussions

Join the:
Mailing lists

Purple Tours
Tour Dates
Tour Reviews

Purple Music
Upcoming Releases

Sound Archives
MIDI Archives
Movie Archives

Other Sections
Frequently Asked Q's
Image Gallery
Purple Contributions
Special Features
Bios/Family Tree
Joanna's Gossip
Who To Blame