sat 22/06/2024

CD: Deep Purple - Now What?! | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Deep Purple - Now What?!

CD: Deep Purple - Now What?!

Can the old rockers justify another album?

Deep Purple: irony in the title

Rock geeks will generally tell you that Deep Purple needs to include either Ritchie Blackmore or Jon Lord to be truly deserving of the name. Sadly, neither will ever again be available for duty. Lord – to whom this album is dedicated passed away last year. Blackmore irrevocably turned his back on rock years ago. Their absence, however, has little to do with this album's deficiencies.

Short of hiring a spirit-medium to bring back Lord, the band couldn’t have achieved a more classic organ sound than that of Don Airey. Guitarist Steve Morse is equally virtuoso and none of the others performs badly. The problem here is more basic: with one notable exception, the songs are, at best, average. Melodically they are lacklustre and the lyrics, more often than not, hardly seem to be about anything at all.

Now What?! isn't so much complacent as stuck in a rut. Recently, a number of veteran musicians have shown growing older can be just as interesting as being young. On this album, however, we just get a mixture of nostalgia and denial. I was no more interested in hearing about old “Two Tone Eddie” in “Hell to Pay” than I was listening to 67-year-old Ian Gillan singing about his loins on "Bodyline": “My head is spinning/ Keeping focus on my whirling dervish/ I don’t know who you are/ but I’m enslaved at your service”. Give me a break!

I tried my hardest to like this album. Honest. But whereas on their last one, Rapture Of The Deep, the band successfully made a feature of the one thing that keeps them fresh - the guitar playing of Steve Morse - here they have produced a pale imitation of 1984's Perfect Strangers. Only the rather nice single "All The Time In The World" delivers the kind of material they should be producing. The title, Now What?!, implies a new direction. Hopefully, if they ever produce another record, it'll actually have one. 

Watch a video of the making of Now What?!


The problem is basic: with one notable exception, the songs are, at best, average


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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Not bad for Ian Gillan Band, but it is fefinitely NOT Deep Purple because since Ritchie left the magic's been gone ...

The review is nonsense. Give it a couple of listens not just a single run though. It's a real grower and after a solid week of listening I'm absolutely loving it. It's superb in almost every way. Outstanding playing, great melodies, nice warm sound and really catchy, powerful tunes. It's a 9/10 record any day of the week.

This is their best album since the 1970s. Ignore this review.

I completely disagree with the review. This is Deep Purple's finest album since the early 1970s and one of the best rock albums I have every heard (although such comparisons are ultimately pointless). There is not a dud track on the whole album.

After multiple listenings, I'd say this is the NUMBER THREE Deep Purple album of all time – behind In Rock and Machine Head. It's fantastic on every level. IGNORE THIS REVIEW, it seems to be based on one listen.

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