Sound — 8
"Deep Purple" is the third and last album of Deep Purple Mk1. There are less psychedelic influences than the previous two albums but the classical music influences are more noticed. The album starts with "Chasing Shadows," a song about nightmares and insomnia, with an interesting drum section. "Blind" is well structured, but maybe the sound of harpsichord is a bit annoying. "Lalena" is the only cover in the album, and is a very good track. After this three soft tracks, the album moves to heavier arrangements. "Fault Line" is an instrumental track that leads to "The Painter," an heavy blues-structured song. "Why Didn't Rosemary" is very well structured and got a good bluesy riff, but its strength point is the final guitar solo, that is like the prototype of "Child in Time" solo. Then comes "The Bird Has Flown," a very hard song with a supreme riff and structure. The last song "April" shows the classical music skills of Blackmore and Lord, 8 minutes of a classical section as introduction of a good hard song. Surely this albums was another step towards hard rock, but the last of the first Deep Purple era, full of psychedelia, progressive arrangements, and '60s rock attitude.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are very good and suggestive especially in "Why Didn't Rosemary" and "April." They still feel full of psychedelia, very far from the Ian Gillan ones. However are more interesting than the previous two albums. This is the last album featuring Rod Evans on vocals, and he gives a perfect last demostration of his good singer skills, but hard rock was surely not his way. As said for the previous two albums, Deep Purple would have been a good psychedelic-hard rock band as well. But maybe Evans' lyrics and voice was not what Blackmore, Lord and Paice was searching for.
Overall Impression — 8
This is the last album of the first Deep Purple's era. I Think that "The Book of Taliesyn" is the best of that era, but "Deep Purple" shows how the band was growing up in harder directions and in their musicians skills. For example, the guitar solo on "Why Didn't Rosemary" shows the growing guitar mastery of Ritchie Blackmore. It must be said that during the Mk1 era, the songwriting was leaded more by Jon Lord than Blackmore. Since the next album "In Rock," the sound will more be influenced by the hard style of Ritchie. However, "Deep Purple" is a fantastic album, easier to listen than the previous albums, as it's nearer to the classic Purple style. So, listen to this last work of the '60s side of Deep Purple.