Sound: This is the first Deep Purple album after Jon Lord's departure. And, to be honest, the difference is easily noticed. Not because I have something personal with the new keyboard player, Don Airey, but it's just evident how the band is searching new horizons: I half agree with their search. In one hand, it's possible to say that some tracks are enjoyable ("House Of Pain", "Razzle Dazzle" or "Bananas"), and they make justice for the legendary band they are. But in the other hand, I feel some unoriginal vibe in some songs ("Haunted", "Walk On" or "Doing It Tonight"), which are boring, or doesn't really go on with the deep purple's style.
Anyway, the sound engineer managed to make this album worse than it could have been. It sounds like a cheap mp3; the bass is almost inaudible in some tracks. // 6
Lyrics: This is the higher point of the album. I don't know how, but mister Ian Gillan always have some interesting story to be told: "You know I can dream in any language, Flying on my magic bed, And I don't need to work my passage, All I do is use my head" is a verse of "Silver Tongue", one of the highlights of the album.
The title track's lyrics are a bit weird, let's say: "Now my love is Richer than rich, 'Cause I studied, Mathematics, Graduated, Without honours, Everyone has Gone Bananas". They seem to be quite improvised, beacause he really sings more deeply inspired songs than these one.I definetely admire his sense of humour, and his impressive skills. // 8
Overall Impression: I would never ever imagine this legendary old school british hard rock band to make an album like this, so different, and strange to their origins. My personal favorites are "House Of Pain", "Silver Tongue", "I've Got Your Number", the beatiful and inspired "Never A Word", and "Bananas".The last track, "Contact Lost", written by the talented guitar player steve morse, is inspired by the tragedy of the columbia mission during 2003. And is quite emotional how the instrumental says it all: sadness and desesperation.
My least favorites are "Razzle Dazzle", "Picture Of Innocence" and the the awful "Doing It Tonight", which shouldn't belong to deep purple, as they aren't a reggae band.
The album doesn't even compare to their fantastic album "Purpendicular" or any of their previous works. The level isn't the best here, as they have much more to offer. If it were stolen/lost, I guess I would buy it again, but after a period of time realizing if I really miss this album, or if it's really worth keeping it in my collection of purple's albums. // 6