Deep Purple
Now What?!


3.5
great

Review

by manosg USER (37 Reviews)
April 30th, 2013 | 89 replies


Release Date: 04/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A worthy addition to the long Deep Purple catalogue.

We had to wait almost 8 long years in order to listen to new music by Deep Purple. According to Steve Morse, the main reason was the limited funding allocated by music labels when it comes to recording and promoting a new LP. The band has toured a lot since Rapture of the Deep which included numerous great ideas but had one significant drawback; its production. The band decided to hire veteran producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, KISS, Alice Cooper) for this album and it seems that their choice was spot-on. Bob Ezrin helped the band organize their ideas, keep what is necessary and get rid of any inessential material. Moreover, in Now What?! the listener is able to easily distinguish among the various band members whereas in Bananas and Rapture of the Deep the approach was a bit pedal to the medal in regards to the volume level of all the musical instruments.

In addition, from time to time the album has been characterized as a fusion of Machine Head and Made in Japan by the record label, the best in 30 years by music critics and having elements from Fireball by various fans of the band. So, is it that good? Has a group that counts 320 years accumulatively on this planet managed to release such a gem towards the end of their careers? Well, the answer is apparently no. This album cannot be compared to those masterpieces simply because their two main soloists are different. However, Now What?! is a solid effort, worthy of the band’s name and one of the best of the Steve Morse-era.

So, how does the album sound like? To begin with, it is typical of the Mark VIII era with one important differentiation though. Whereas Rapture of the Deep was more guitar-oriented, this one revolves around Don Airey’s keyboards. Now What?! is one of the most, if not THE most, organ-oriented album in the band’s catalogue. Deep Purple have dedicated this LP to Jon Lord (RIP) and their choice to put the organ in the forefront is probably conscious and a successful one. Moreover, the tracks’ intros are very carefully crafted in order to attract the listener’s attention while most of the songs are mid-paced. In addition, the rhythm section is doing a great job even though Ian Paice doesn't provide any paicey drum fills and Roger Glover’s bass is as audible as usual. One can feel the direction of this album by listening carefully to its opener. Nonetheless, the album contains some rocking moments (“Hell to Pay”), classical influences (“Uncommon Man”), some progressive passages (“Out of Hand”, “Apres Vous”) and laid back tracks (“All the Time in the World”, “Blood From a Stone”).

On the other hand, any Deep Purple album has some innate deficiencies. One characteristic is Ian Gillan’s nasally singing. While it may not be a huge problem to Purple fans, his singing has undoubtedly deteriorated during the past 20-25 years or so. The one time he tries to deliver his characteristic scream reminds us why he doesn't use this technique anymore. That’s no news however, hence the use of the word “innate”. Moreover, even though Steve Morse is a remarkable guitarist and has been part of this band for 17 years now, his playing doesn't fit 100% with the rest of the guys. His solos seem a bit out of place in some instances (“Out of Hand”) and the same can be stated regarding his guitar tone. While Rapture of the Deep was a personal win of his, in this album he could have done better bearing in mind his talent.

Overall, Now What?! is a worthy addition to the long Deep Purple catalogue. Fans of Purpendicular and the group’s last two albums will find several pleasing moments and the band should feel proud of the outcome too. After 45 years of creating music, this album is in all probability the best they could have offered. On the other hand, those who expect “Child in Time” screams, “Fireball” drum fills and “Burn” guitar harmonies will be disappointed. However, this is not the case for 2013 Deep Purple and the way one approaches this album will have an impact upon their impression.



Recent reviews by this author
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band Paul Butterfield Blues BandNina Simone Pastel Blues
Nightfall Athenian EchoesTheatre Of Tragedy Aegis
Accept BreakerToots & The Maytals Funky Kingston
user ratings (99)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
kual21 (3.5)
The album exceeded my expectations! Although it isn’t a classic album NOW What?! is able to presen...

TheCriticalListener (3)
If you liked the last three Deep Purple albums, you'll love Now What?!. Rather harmless, but hardly ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
lostforwords
April 30th 2013


446 Comments


Good review, pos.

I was wondering whether they would go for a guitar oriented sound or not, I'm a little dissapointed
that they didn't.
Haven't heard it yet though

manosg
April 30th 2013


6095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude.

Yup, this is definitely dominated by Don Airey.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

Hoppoman
April 30th 2013


634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You beat me too it, but good review so have a pos'.

OmairSh
April 30th 2013


11062 Comments


"this one revolves around Don Airey’s keyboards"

That sounds interesting, unless he onlly uses the organ, he's an incredibly diverse keyboardist and should be given room to do as he pleases

Digging: Leprous - Coal

manosg
April 30th 2013


6095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you Hoppoman, I have enjoyed all your Hawkwind reviews. Oh and the Saxon one.

Hoppoman
April 30th 2013


634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the Saxon one is my personal best, but I agree with you about Airey, this is very much his album. I'll probably post my own one later, after Sonic Attack gets pushed off the new review list.

manosg
April 30th 2013


6095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@OmairSh
Most times he uses the organ but there are other sounds too. This album is highly recommended for fans of the keyboards and the organ.

dante1991
April 30th 2013


539 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I probably need to give this another listen. "Out of Hand" and "Vincent Price" are cool, but overall I found the album was like Deep Purple on autodrive, a bit uninspired in parts.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2013


20676 Comments


Nice review, man. Still need to check this out. I have fairly low expectations having heard the single, All the Time in the World, but your review has raised my expectations slightly.

One thing:

Has a group that counts 320 years accumulatively on this planet managed to release such a gem at the dawn of their careers?


By using the word 'dawn' it sounds like you mean at the beginning of the band's career. I would suggest changing this to something like 'towards the end of their careers'.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

manosg
April 30th 2013


6095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oops, error corrected, thanks dude. I approached the album having low expectations too but the album definitely has its moments.

scissorlocked
April 30th 2013


3510 Comments


poooosssss



stabbler
April 30th 2013


1415 Comments


and there you go i thought their last album was the House of Blue Light

manosg
April 30th 2013


6095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@scissorlocked
Thanks man.

@stabbler
Their last 3 are not bad.

aggelosm
April 30th 2013


470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For me is the best of them in the last years. Don Airey is fantastic in this one. I have a problem (again) with S.Morse. Sometimes I feel that he do to much. unnecessary!

rockandmetaljunkie
April 30th 2013


3302 Comments


Good review man, have another pos.
I would really love to listen to this album, as I really love the band's classic material, but this line up doesn't seem "attractive" to me. I can't bring my self to listen to this band if it's two leading composers are absent.

tempest--
April 30th 2013


13490 Comments


This album cannot reminiscent those masterpieces

This doesn't make sense, maybe try "channel" or something similar?

Anyway, pos. I'll be pleasantly surprised if this is as good as you say it is.

Digging: Jake Kaufman - Shovel Knight Original Soundtrack

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2013


20676 Comments


"This album cannot rival those masterpieces" might sound better.

tempest--
April 30th 2013


13490 Comments


But I don't think anyone is expecting it to. More like, "take influence from those albums."

Titan
April 30th 2013


4884 Comments


Great review manosg....pos'd

This album is very good. Apres Vous is incredible. Even Hell To Pay and All The Time In The World became enjoyable. It's their best since Perpendicular.

manosg
April 30th 2013


6095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@aggelos
Thanks dude. Indeed Airey is awesome in this one. Steve Morse, even though technically is incredible, would be better off playing less notes.

@rockandmetaljunkie
Thanks man. I understand what you're saying, Deep Purple without Blackmore and Lord is a different band. Some of their work is pretty good though.

@LloydNewgreen
Thank you for your help. English is not my native language, so your support is very much appreciated.

@JT
Thanks again dude.

@Titan
Thanks man. Agreed, this might be my favorite from the Morse-era. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to listen to Rapture of the Deep with the production of this one.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy