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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
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This left me with a big smile! Just as when I heard Purpendicular and Perfect Strangers for the first time...

I was taken to a conference room at EMI, here in Sweden, where I listened to the new collection of 51½ minutes of assorted purple coloured music. To give you some reference points, I can start by saying that I just loved Purpendicular when it was released, and I still like that album, whereas I have never liked Abandon much at all, except for a few tracks.

In a lot of places Bananas sounds much more like a follow up to "Accidentally On Purpose" (which I love) than to "Abandon". I'm NOT saying that because of Don has replaced Jon though! The sound has changed of course, not that much actually, but the keyboards are more diverse than before. I'm saying it because it's so playful! It shines through, maybe not all over the record, but in many many places!

The production is a great mix of the classic Purple sound and a more contemporary heavier sound. Of course all the guys in the band are doing a great job... All of them creating more variations and a more diverse sound than on Abandon.

It's hard to say if the songs are "good" or not after only hearing them one or two times, so this is just a first impression! I tried to give the songs a rating 1-5, compared to their other material, post reunion 1984, where 5 would be kept for PS, KAYBD and SIFLS...

1. House of Pain (3). A standard rock opener, with screams, harmonica, guitar/organ solos and all. But too standard to my taste, you've sort of heard it before.

2. Sun Goes Down (4). This is much more exciting! Heavy. Groovy... Slower. Fat Hammond sounds and some typical SM guitar melodies. This one got me smiling! I actually think this would have been a much better opener for the album!

3. Haunted (1). I had high expectations for this one, as I had heard it should be the single and they had already played it live. But it's not my cup of tea at all. Who knows, it may get some airplay though. Don won the Eurovision song contest some years ago with Katarina and the Waves, maybe they should have entered with this song this year...

4. Razzle Dazzle (2). It got me thinking of Ramshackle Man, although the melody is not like that at all... Hmm, but what is this? Two rather boring songs after each other...

5. Silver Tongue (4). OK! Now we're heading in the right direction again! The verse is very similar to something Gillan has recorded before, don't remember if it's a G/G tune or some more recent DP... Anyhow it's a perfect example of how I want DP to sound in the 21st century! Heavy production. Nice Morse guitar melody, followed by a great hammond solo...

6. Walk On (3). A slow blues tune and a much better ballad then Haunted. It has a nice start and a great end sequence, which makes it different and interesting, but the rest of the song is once again a bit too standard.

7. Pictures of Innocence (4). The guitar intro sounds a bit like the old banjo player they had 10 years ago... This is a cool song! Groovy! Starts as a shuffle, gets heavier... Lots of "Gillanisms" in the lyrics. (although I guess it could be Roger's words just as well...) Good solos! The verse sounds like a song that could have been on AoP, but the chorus is more typical Morse-DP.

8. I've got your Number (3). It has a nice slow middle section, slightly like Cascades with some great solos from both Steve and Don. It has a nice ending, sounds a bit like Steve Howe/Yes, with acoustic guitar and piano. But the chorus is quite boring and repetitive. Strange they have chosen to play this one live already...

9. Never a Word (4?). Not sure about this one really... It has a wonderful instrumental intro, it takes almost 2½ minutes before Ian starts to sing. And when he does, it sounds like a classic song from the late 60's. Totally different to anything the guys have recorded before. More like Simon and Garfunkel... But why does the song end so soon? The vocal part is just one minute long! It should have gone on (forever) and grown into something "big", roughly like SIFLS... It could have been a real classic DP tune, maybe it will be when I have heard it a few times more. Maybe there is reason... Maybe they will release a longer version?

10. Bananas (4). A great title track! Once again "the 21st century DP sound"... Different! Exciting! Fun! Amazing solos... I'm having some trouble picking up the words, maybe the vocals could have been slighty clearer, but otherwise it is a great production! This one got me smiling...

11. Doing it again (4+). ...and this one got me laughing! Add a horn section to this one and remix it as a single... Again very different from anything DP have recorded, it could have been taken from AoP though, so it's not that far out. This could be a great encore in the live set for the fall! I just love this one! My favourite on the album, I think...

12. Contact Lost (3). A beatiful short instrumental album closer, again with some acoustic guitar that reminds me of Yes... Short and sweet, only 1½ minute.

A brief summary:

I had hoped this new album to be different, more progressive, more diverse to what they had done before in the studio... And in a way it is! But it could have been even more progressive... The best tracks are the ones where they dare to step away from the ordinary rock formula, but on the other hand they can't do that all the time, then it wouldn't be "Deep Purple", which after all is one of the most important trademarks in rock history...

I really think they manage to do a great mixture of old and new stuff, of stepping out of the DP shadow, and yet keeping one foot in the Purple shade. But (although after only hearing the songs once or twice) I think something is missing; the songs, the riffs, the choruses (or something) are probably not good enough to make it a really classic DP album, up there with the albums from the 70s, where I think Purpendicular belongs. But on the other hand it's much better than Abandon! And I'm sure a lot of the songs will be great live! Quite weird they have chosen Haunted and Number for the current tour... I would like to hear: Sun Goes Down, Silver Tongue, Pix of Innocense and Bananas live along with "the perfect encore" Doing it Tonight!

Anyhow, as a die hard DP fan for the last 30+ years, my expectations were rather high. After all, we have waited for six years to hear some new studio material from the band. And when Morse joined the band he was a catalyst, much like when G/G joined in 1969... Maybe I had hoped Don to be the new catalyst with even more thrilling and progressive material... Adding the ratings for each song above would give the whole Banana 3+, which in my book is more then most of the albums DP have released during the last 20 years...

So, after all, thumbs up! I'm really looking forward to the release. (It will be interesting to compare my thoughts after hearing the songs some 10 times more!) I'm also really looking forward to hear some of the songs live. They should (read: must) be able to create a totally new and interesting setlist with this material!

Paer Holmgren

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