Now What?! review by Deep Purple

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  • Released: Apr 26, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (82 votes)
Deep Purple: Now What?!
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Sound — 8
A band called Deep Purple formed 45 years ago with the intention of starting a temporary project called Roundabout, but instead they've become one of the longest living bands in rock and roll. Despite numerous personnel changes over the years, 3 out of the 5 current members has been with the band since at least 1969. Steve Morse joined on guitar in 1994 and Don Airey has been on keyboards and organ since 2002. The original premise of the band was for a progressive rock project with rotating members started by Chris Curtis (drummer from The Searchers) in 1967, but Chris was booted from the project pretty early on due his very volatile personality. By 1968 the band was touring and had changed their name from Roundabout to Deep Purple, a name suggested by Ritchie Blackmore. Today we find ourselves 19 studio albums into Deep Purple's career. The 19th studio release, "Now What?!", has 12 tracks and clocks in at just a few minutes short of a full 60 minutes. The first singles from the album were released on February 29th 2013 with the tracks "Hell To Pay" and "All The Time In The World", released together on CD and vinyl.

From the time I hit play until the album finished I was blown away. A lot of "classic" bands release new albums and it sounds like they're just throwing together old riffs, but Deep Purple seems to be committed to moving forward with only an occasional look back at their past. It is easy to imagine Deep Purple as a band in their prime. Ian Gillan's voice is still powerful and he still has his range. Steve Morse is awesome on guitar and produces memorable riff after memorable riff, squeezed in between some stellar soloing. Their newest addition, Don Airey, does an excellent job on the keyboards and organs whether he is soloing, inserting little fills or playing rhythm. He reminds me what a rock band can sound like with a good organist. Ian Paice stays really solid with the drums throughout he may not be hitting the drums quite as hard as back in the day, but what he's lost in force he has made up with finesse. Roger Glover maintains the backbeat on bass, demonstrating some really solid playing. The bass shines most clearly on the track "Weirdistan". My favorite moments from the album would have to be during "Aprs Vous" when Steve Morse and Don Airey are trading solo licks, or several passages from "All The Time In The World" where there is a really strong groove between the whole band. This album is absolutely solid from beginning to end.

Lyrics — 9
Ian Gillan has one of those voices that was made for classic/prog rock vocals. For someone who has been singing in a rock and roll band for more years out of his life than not, Ian's voice has held up surprisingly well. As soon as the album starts and the vocals come in on "A Simple Song" I knew Ian Gillan could still pull off a great prog vocal, and then suddenly the song got heavier and Ian made the transition to a more powerful rock vocal and my worries were completely put to rest. Ian is one of classic rock's greatest vocalists and there is only so much to say beyond that he hasn't lost his touch much more and it just turns into gushing. The lyrics from the album fit in with the legacy of Deep Purple's past lyrical outings and with classic prog rock in general. Some of my favorites are the opening lyrics from "Weirdistan": "We travel through time and meet on a stretch of sand/ well, you're from up north and I live in wonderland." Then from the opening track "A Simple Song": "Time, it does not matter/ but time is all we have/ to think about, to think about/ the road it has no end/ crossroads every turn/ so it goes, so it goes/ once you sang a simple song."

Overall Impression — 8
I don't know if there is a soul alive who wouldn't recognize the guitar riff from "Smoke On The Water" when they heard it, and you gotta remember that this is (essentially) the same band who brought us that iconic song. "Now What?!" isn't a walk down memory lane, however, but a solid album on its own. My favorite song from the album is "Uncommon Man", but I was also really fond of "Aprs Vous", "A Simple Song", and "All The Time In The World". The track "Vincent Price" is also a standout track, paying tribute to the actor from many classic horror films. My least favorite track from the album would be "It'll Be Me", as it seems to really almost come off as some overdriven country more than rock something you would expect from Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it didn't quite gel with the rest of the album.

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48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    mc92
    Compared with new releases by Black Sabbath, The Stooges and Van Halen this album is really innovative and fresh. Deep Purple prove that they are not a nostalgia act and still they can bring something new into hard rock genre. It brings me down that Sabbath get all the attention when they re-unite only for money.
    Skyvalve2012
    As in Spock's beard Steve Morse?
    Zerath
    You're thinking of Alan Morse (or their previous frontman/co-founder Neal Morse). The new Spock's Beard record is delicious btw! edit: beat me to it!
    florence007
    Can't wait to get a copy of this. Their past few albums have been bloody good (purpendicular, Rapture of the Deep). And they still put on an excellent live show
    HeavyMetalSonic
    I checked out 'Hell to Pay' and was really disappoint to find that it's mastered too loud and has noticable distortion on the keyboard solo.
    gray96
    Aren't distorted keyboards their thing, though?
    henrihell
    Yup. A Hammond organ through a Marshall amp, for a little overdrive, and into a Leslie cab. That's the way the mighty Lord did it.
    Satrianifan281
    Aren't you the same idiot that said Dream Theater sucks? If you don't know crap about a topic then stay off it.
    iommi600
    I fail to see why someone who likes Deep Purple shouldn't hate Dream Theater based simply on opinions. Also, why that makes someone an idiot or anything like that. Jeez, you guys must be fun at parties.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Dream Theater does suck. My girlfriend adores them and even she knows they're shit. I'm dying to know what the original comment was, for it to have gotten more ratings than anything else in the thread.
    Dynamight
    So your girlfriend adores shit? I guess that explains her relationship choice.
    Gerard Way Jr
    So we've established DT is shit.
    Dynamight
    Not yetso far we just established you're an idiot.
    Gerard Way Jr
    For thinking DT is shit. ...okay
    HardRock369
    Dude I see you comment on this site a lot, and you seem to have downvotes just follow you. Do you strive to be a troll? Or are you just sort of a douche, like your idol Gerard Way
    Gerard Way Jr
    "Idol, Gerard Way" I don't suppose you've heard of logical deduction? Account made in 2008 on a site where usernames can't be changed. Incidentally, he's actually quite the gentleman. And no, downvotes don't just follow me, and you don't seem to understand the concept of trolling at all.
    HardRock369
    That makes it worse actually, then you're not trolling you're serious. And yes, every article I see you post on, you seem to have a myriad of down votes on everything you say. I hate to bruise your ego, but I didn't bother to look and see when your account was created, and "logical deduction" tells me that since you named your profile after him, you're a fan. By your incredible logic, everyone with an old profile no longer likes whatever their username is about. I hate the entire genre of hard rock AND all the Hard Rock Cafes in the world.
    Zonzin
    Well your girlfriend seems like an idiot, you guys match I guess.
    Gerard Way Jr
    -girlfriend got me into Zep- Whatever you say, bro. She (and I, for the matter) recognize the band has good musicians, but the music they choose to play is sappy and dull.
    Satrianifan281
    It's progressive metal, it's a hard genre to appreciate, not saying you don't know music, just saying it's a unique genre.
    dudester410
    I personally am a huge fan of as much prog as I can get into, and for some reason DT just doesn't do it. Jr's got a point, they're all super talented musicians, but alot of the songs are sappy, generic and boring. I reckon DT has made many classic songs, I'm a fan nevertheless, however they're definitely alot less appealing musically than many other acts in the genre
    Gerard Way Jr
    @Satriani Yeah, I understand what it's trying to achieve. Again, they're good at what they play. I'm just not of the opinion that it's enough to earn rousing critical merit.
    iommi600
    It was something like "someone should get these old grandpas a retirement home". Which I politely agree with, after listening to this album.
    Anjohl
    Only Ian Paice has been with Purple since 1969. I love the revisionist history employed when classic lineups reform. Burn/Stormbringer anyone?
    Gerard Way Jr
    Bon Jovi - What About Now, are we good yet? Deep Purple - Now What?! We made another great record. Some things never change.
    paulohd2
    We get it, you don't like the new Bon Jovi album. There is no need to go on every article on this site writing the same thing over and over again.
    Gerard Way Jr
    The titles are the same. The albums are drastically different. It is funny. haha. Lighten up. I don't go on every article writing the same thing. I state the same opinion in slightly different wording.
    INSULIN
    STEVE MORSE STARTED DIXIE DREGGS IN AUGUSTA GA WE NOT JUST FAMOUS FOR JAMES BROWN AND THAT LITTLE GOLF TOURNAMENT
    mjones1992
    It's Ok. It's nothing new. Pretty much that same old DP song. Won't be giving this a second listen I don't think. Oh, and the lyrics are a little weird... just sayin
    flattoppicker
    old farts trying too hard and coming up empty handed,lame lyrics and bad musical comp, I am sorry but it is poop all the way around.
    mrrman
    Like the last song, all the time in the world. How fitting as I am posting from Maui.