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Down the rabbit holes never visited

Deep Purple - Now what?! artwork; image courtesy of Edel/earMUSIC

It’s not that often that you read a reveiew of an album (any album) that is so eloquent that it makes you wipe that grin off your face, put everything aside and listen to the said album again.

Cory Frye’s review of Now what?! in Albany Democrat-Herald is just like that:

Which brings us to “Now What?!,” a palpable question for any group in its 45th year: What do you do when you’ve done it all? It also acknowledges the 2012 passing of Jon Lord, to whom this collection is dedicated. The band’s debt to him is immeasurable. ‘Twas his rumble that announced 1968’s “Hush,” a Top 5 U.S. hit; had he not fed his Hammond through a Leslie speaker and plumped its bulk with Marshall heft, the Deep Purple sound would never have existed.

Wherever he resides in the by-and-by, he must be immensely pleased. Airey dominates in aggressive tribute, his vamps and swerves sending his partners down rabbit holes they either haven’t explored in decades or never visited, period. As a result, “Now What?!” isn’t the continuation of “Bananas” or “Rapture of the Deep” but a refreshingly inventive journey that manages to be both bold and comfortable.

Read the whole thing in Albany Democrat-Herald.



17 Comments to “Down the rabbit holes never visited”:

  1. 1
    Jimmy King says:

    Awesome stuff here,Cheers

  2. 2
    Randy says:

    The pacing of this album is another one of its strong points. That probably has to do with Bob Ezrin. Before you have heard enough of some aspect, something changes and keeps you engaged. With many albums you get bored or fatigued when the same thing goes on too long or gets repeated too often. I also like that there are no embarrassing, groaner lyrics or things you wouldn’t want your kids to hear. Now What?! is a thrill to listen to and I smile all the way though it – with the sole exception of the Jon Lord homage Above and Beyond, when I smile through my tears.

  3. 3
    Ignacio Dinamita says:

    such a great review, put every thing in its proper place

  4. 4
    HardRockPete says:

    Paul Mann published this review at his FB page, and I wrote…..: “Agree with you, but a few things the reviewer forgot to mention: This album contains the best work ever done by Steve Morse with the band, it contains the best work ever done by Don Airey with the band, Gillan sounds fantastic since he sings beautifully within his current range, the production is top notch, it sounds almost like a live consert and Now What is by far their best album since the 70s/ Perfect Strangers/ Purpendicular. Other than that, I agree Long live Deep Purple! If this turn out to be their recorded musical testament, it’s a worthy ending by all means. Shoot, what a truly great, GREAT band they are And can you believe…. At their age??? To come up with this? Who would’ve thought As I’ve said earlier, I’ll eat, drink and breath Purple on a daily basis for years to come! I’m really proud to be a fan of such a fantastic band 🙂

  5. 5
    Cory Frye says:

    Holy smoke, I made @highwaystarcom! http://t.co/MOvJDryiCm

  6. 6
    Deeperpurps says:

    Excellent review Cory Frye, and spot on!!! I bought the CD last night and am currently running through it a 5th time….it gets better with each and every listen.

    The long 8 year wait has been worth it! Albums of such quality are rare gems indeed. This one stands tall! The sound is fantastic, clear with a very nice separation between instruments. Within each track the music ranges from quietly introspective to hugely powerful, with mighty virtuosity laid on throughout.

    I can’t wait to see them bring this release out on tour! Tracks like Uncommon Man, Weirdistan, and Vincent Price are going to be huge on stage if the interplay between Don Airey’s keys and Steve Morse’s guitar on this album is any indication. Ian Paice is rock solid on the drum kit, and Roger Glover does some really nice bass work – his presence on this album is very evident. Ian Gillan’s mid-register voice is strong and used to pleasing effect on all tracks.

    This is the first Purple album in almost 30 years which has so completely captured my attention. For me it is the strongest and most cohesive one since Perfect Strangers of 1984. Purpendicular, Abandon, Bananas and Rapture all had their charms but this one towers above all of those. Bob Ezrin in the producer’s chair has obviously injected some magic into the Purple mix.

    This is not Purple of the 70’s. This is Deep Purple of the here and now – the Now What?! Jon Lord to whom this album is dedicated would be mightily proud of this one.

    Very well done Purple Gentlemen!

  7. 7
    Fernando Mattedi says:

    Best review of the album so far, passionate and unbiased, at same time. Now What?! deserved it, and it is absolute amazing that the lived to deliver a so consistent work added to their career. I remember like it was yesterday, when I first listened to Purpendicular, in 1996, a strange feeling that “well, they did it, they put a great and innovative album Blackmoreless – and now, they can call it a day in a high standard!”. Luckily, It couldn’t be further from the truth, almost 20 years later they are showing us. And, excuse me Randy for stealing your words, but “smile through tears” is exactly my felling on Above and Beyond. Back to the point, Mr. Frye did it very very well.

  8. 8
    kraatzy says:

    Now What !? is a very very very great album.

    The greatest Album since Steve Morse came to our friends in Purple.

    I could not get enough to hear this CD up and down.

    It is/was very sad to wait for so long time for THIS superb album !!!!

    LLDnP

    LLRnR

    -kraatzy-

  9. 9
    micke says:

    @ 2 Good thoughts Randy, I totally agree with you. Also a great review from Albany Democrat-Herald, I wish there would be more of these insightful reviews around and not reviewers who don’t know what they’re on about.
    I have at the moment 5-6 songs from this album playing in my head, that’s crazy… 😉 and a new record!

  10. 10
    Jim says:

    Terrific review. It’s so refreshing to see that the interviewer has done their homework for a change.

  11. 11
    purpletemple says:

    More than ever, I’m so proud to be a purple fan!
    They’re just amazing.

  12. 12
    Finn says:

    “6” – I can only agree 101% 🙂

  13. 13
    al says:

    downloaded the album yesterday and I am still enjoying and play it on heavy rotation.It is fresh and different from all the other albums and a great sonic improvement from their previous TROTD,thanks to Bob Ezrin.All the comparisons with Perfect Strangers and Purpendicular are journalistic hype and nonsense.The band is tight and sounding great,but I love Don Airey in particular and his playing all over the album.I cannot wait for them to tour North America at some point this year,and listen to some of these songs live,like Vincent Price!I hope they make another one with Bob Ezrin at some point in not so far future!

  14. 14
    Dan Russell says:

    Absolutely brilliant album.

  15. 15
    massimiliano gisolfi says:

    well…I like the album, start to end, I really mean it! But I have a question for you all, and I would like to know what you think about this: have you listened it on a HiFi? I mean , no mp3 readers, no iPods, but some powerful quality stereo? Is it just me & my ears, or this cd is another loudness war victim???

  16. 16
    Randy says:

    Some DP albums, it’s true, have had a clunker song or two. Call of the Wild and Too Much is Not Enough come to mind for some reason. Well, I have listened to Now What?! from beginning to end about 15 times now. I must report that there are no clunkers to be found. This album gets better with each listen. At first I was scared that Vincent Price would be too much of a novelty song for my discriminating taste. Now, I’m afraid it’s one of my favorites. But every song is a favorite. I need professional help; I’m singing Bodyline in public places.

  17. 17
    RB says:

    It is indeed an eloquent review, but for me I don’t see ‘Now What?!’ as their best work since Steve joined (for me that is ‘Purpendicular’ – bigger step to go from Ritchie to Steve than Jon to Don), but rather it’s easily their best with Don in the band (‘Bananas’ and ‘Rapture…’ aren’t particularly memorable for me and the production is quite poor, especially on the former. Also, ‘Bananas’ saw quite a big dip in Gillan’s vocal delivery – he lost or no longer used that aggressive edge he’s always had. It had not been present live for a while but ‘Bananas’ represented the first time it had not been present in the studio).

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