Now What?!
DEEP PURPLE

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DEEP PURPLE - Now What?! cover
3.93 | 19 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2013

Filed under Hard Rock

Tracklist

1. A Simple Song (4:39)
2. Weirdistan (4:14)
3. Out Of Hand (6:09)
4. Hell To Pay (5:10)
5. Bodyline (4:26)
6. Above And Beyond (5:30)
7. Blood From A Stone (5:18)
8. Uncommon Man (7:02)
9. Après Vous (5:24)
10. All The Time In The World (4:21)
11. Vincent Price (4:46)

Total Time 57:02

Line-up/Musicians

- Ian Gillan / vocals
- Donald Airey / keyboards
- Steve Morse / guitars, vocals
- Ian Paice / drums
- Roger Glover / bass, vocals

About this release

Release date: April 26, 2013
Label: Ear Music / Edel

Bonus tracks:

12. It'll Be Me (3:02)
13. First Sign Of Madness (4:26)

Thanks to diamondblack for the addition and Stooge, Lynx33 for the updates

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DEEP PURPLE NOW WHAT?! reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

aglasshouse
I'll admit it- I've never really listened to much Deep Purple until I gave a listen to their 2013 album. I've heard these guys well perceived by critics over the years, and just a little while ago decided to check them out. I gotta say, I was also impressed. But I knew; I couldn't review a band after just listening to a 2013 album, I had to go way on back to their heyday in order to juxtapose this album with the classics.

And after listening, this song is up there. I mean, an album like Stormbringer (which I enjoyed), or Machine Head could not be compared to. It is obviously hard to match work from forty-three years ago when these guys were in their prime. Although I must say that their sound seems much more raw then their classic works. Not to mention they use much more synth on the release as opposed to the simple smashing of hard rocking that you'd see on In Rock (my favorite of all). It may be some sort of pattern that these old bands, once their out of their huge popularity heyday, that they come back with sound that is backed up by other affects in order to support their music which has dulled. Not to say that this dulls their music very much, in fact if you listen to the song 'Weirdestan', you'd swear you were listening to a classic Deep Purple track. Overall, there is a sound of hard rocking that still remains, and it is quite nice, maybe even nicer than some of their older albums.

So, if you are a fan of "classic metal", or Deep Purple for that matter, this is a definite release for you to check out.

Go give it a listen.
AtomicCrimsonRush
New Deep Purple?! One has to be excited to hear that the band are still rocking after such a massive career beginning in the late 60s. The album title is "Now What?!" and I guess the answer is "Let's prove we are the masters of classic rock!" The album features a brilliant line up with Steve Morse on guitar, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Don Airey on organ, keyboards, and Ian Paice on drums. The real surprise is the return of Ian Gillan on vocals! He is a powerhouse vocalist carving a niche in rock history when he was with the band and in his solo career. On this latest album Gillan simply proves the old dinosaur can still scream out his lungs and still has one of the greatest voices in rock.

Deep Purple are riff masters and although Ritchie Blackmore is absent, Steve Morse has a great style and blasts out some dynamic riffs and lead breaks. The album is dedicated to Jon Lord, and Don Airey certainly keeps the flame burning with his keyboard style, and I am sure was humbled to be involved. Ian Paice is a genius drummer and it is great to hear his pound away on these songs. Roger Glover is an accomplished bassist, making an appearance on a swag of Purple albums, so it is wonderful to experience his style again on this latest release.

The album is one hour of old school style rock with a metal edge, and there is a lot of progalicious extended keyboard breaks and lead guitar workouts. 'A Simple Song' kicks things off, beginning slowly with nice guitar licks then Gillan in a reflective mood. The heavy rock kicks in with guitar chord progression and very heavy handed Hammond squelches. The keyboarding on this is simply stunning, a real throwback to the great freakouts of the 70s. There is some delightful flute on this too giving a pastoral sound.

After this delightful start they launch into 'Weirdistan' with guitar stabs over a strong bassline and drum pattern. I love the multilayered vocals and melody on this. A lead break cements my enjoyment of this, and what a riff that locks in with organ and axe trade offs in extended jam sessions; it doesn't get better than this!

'Out Of Hand' opens with gloomy atmospheres with a bell chiming and preternatural sounds, then a drone and symphonic violin slices, reminiscent of 'Knocking at Your back door'. A chugging riff enters and some very cool vocals, Gillan is incredible after all these years to be able to sing like this. The way the riff comes and goes with the string section foundation playing beneath is simply wonderful. Again the organ shimmers are absolutely fantastic. A lead break showcase Morse's inimitable style, with fast upsweeps and sustained string bends.

'Hell To Pay' has that Bob Ezrin anthemic production sound, he certainly knows how to get the best out of a band. This one has a Kiss sound but still unmistakeably Deep Purple all the way. The lead break is precision playing from Morse and I love the organ embellishments; Airey is sensational on this album. He has a freakout moment on this track channelling Lord almost in an improvised freestyle; listen to those keyboard crunches.

'Body Line' moves into funky territory, the tune has a funky 80s vibe and yet is as heavy as the Purple get, especially the guitar riffing and that crazy organ. It has a more pedestrian structure but it's still a great song.

'Above And Beyond' is a safer song with a pop melody but I adore the keyboard motif on this and it has a beautiful lead solo at the end. 'Blood From A Stone' has a bluesy feel helped by Glover's bass and Gillan's vocals are deep and resonant showing his age at 67 here. The organ is definitely akin to The Doors 'Riders on the Storm' and that suits me as I am crazy about that song. It builds into a heavier chorus then pulls back to the Doors like sound on the verses. Later it switches time signatures then a gorgeous organ solo like Ray Manzarek in his stoned phase. The song really grows on you and it is so laid back and emotional I can't help but rate this as a highlight.



'Uncommon Man' answers the prog question with some very nice progressive moments, opening with Spanish guitar, then a sumptuous symphonic sound like Pink Floyd. This is quite a surprise after the heavy approach of previous tracks. It is great that DP still want to experiment with music after all these years. Paice has some cool drum fills over this soundscape. Then a guitar solo blazes over and a rhythm builds up ominously with a ton of strings until it moves to a trumpet fanfare on the keyboards. Gillan's vocals are multilayered, and the time sig is off kilter in the main riff as he sings "It's good to be king". The organ and lead breaks are delightful. This is definitely a great song to showcase the prog components of the band.

'Après Vous' is a raucous song with a classic Deep Purple sound especially the riff and the opening vocal section. The time sig has a prog sound and it is a heavy sound from the Hammond and metal guitar that are synced perfectly. It unleashes into an instrumental domination, beginning with soft guitar tones over ethereal synths and a pulsating bass and drum. A symphonic soundscape enters then the staccato organ comes to the fore trading off with incessant speed picking lead guitar; a powerhouse of musicianship.

'All The Time In The World' is the big single and sounds more qualified for radio airplay. The melody is infectious with an uptempo feel. Morse's solo is pleasant but again it is Airey that really captivates me on this track; his organ playing is phenomenal.

'Vincent Price' opens with cathedral pipe organ sounds, like the old actor himself has made an appearance. It is a throwback to the Hammer Horror films of the 70s, such as "Pit and the Pendulum", "Fall of the House of Usher" or "House of Wax". Price was a master and this is a terrific homage to his work. It even has a Gothic female choir and some horror themes interwoven in the structure. The heavy distorted guitar is doom metal and the lyrics capture the horror themes of vampires, and "red blood dripping, she doesn't have a prayer, I know it's not real but I just don't care, it feels so good to be afraid, Vincent Price is back again." The lead break is excellent with a phased sound, and there are effects of chains and Gillan even has a yell like the old days; delightful.

'Highway Star (Bonus track)' is a nice add on after such a great album, and it basically cruises along the familiar bass and drum line, with some incredible lead guitar work, and more Gillan screeches. I always loved 'Highway Star' and I never tire of this, the lead guitar and organ on this live version are absolutely killer, and it ends with a lead guitar workout with piercing screams.

"Now What?!" is a bonafide Deep Purple treasure. I was hoping it would measure up to the brilliance of the past and it certainly delivers from beginning to end. The organ playing is brilliant and a real tribute to the work of Jon Lord who the album is dedicated. I can't complain; this is Deep Purple at their best. It is a real pleasure to listen to and it is comforting to know that not only are Deep Purple back in the studio but they are creating some of their most proficient musicianship and every song has its own atmosphere; they really prove they are masters of classic rock.
Kingcrimsonprog
Now What?! is the nineteenth full-length studio album by the legendary British Rock band Deep Purple, it was their third studio album with Don Airy on Keyboards and their fifth with Steve Morse on guitar. It was produced by Bob Ezrin and released in 2013.

On very first listen, a lot of the album washed over me, leaving a generally positive, but honestly not too impressed or interested impression. With repeat listens however, it revealed itself to be not only a passable, or even above average affair, but a genuinely good one, with literally no weak tracks. It’s a grower for sure.

Usually, I really enjoy any Deep Purple album, and have enjoyed most Morse era albums to some extent, however sometimes they can feel like there is a bit of filler, or there’s a minor lack of consistency, stopping the albums feeling as great as the old days even when over half the album has some genuinely great songs. Now What?! is the perfect Morse era album, it all fits perfectly together, there’s variety yet consistency and all the songs are as good as the very best tracks on another Morse era album.

Highlights include the symphonic ‘Uncommon Man’ dedicated to the late Jon Lord, which feels like a mixture between Close To The Edge era Yes with Works era ELP, the energetic and memorable ‘Apres Vous’ which has a very catchy chorus, and the interesting and characterful single ‘Vincent Price’ although to be honest its all great.

The only real negative thing I can think to say is that the track order may undersell the album’s both power and variety. I listen to this record a lot but I often choose to listen to the record on random/shuffle now, and always find it a great and exciting album all the more for having done so, but that’s just personal preference, most people have no problems with that running order. Seriously, it’s a great album; the rhythm section are tight and steady, Airy and Morse make a real impact and Ian Gillan fits into his older vocal style more comfortably here than ever.

Overall; Now What?! is a very good album from the veteran Rock band, easily in the top fifty percent of their catalogue. It’s a well produced and well written collection of interesting songs, with a great sense of subtly, musicianship and even a few surprises. Check it out if you like Deep Purple, and especially if you’ve liked their modern output. And if you do check it out, don’t just listen to it once, give it a good few spins and really let it sink in, you’ll thank yourself for it after a while.
voila_la_scorie
In an interview a couple of years back, Roger Glover (or it might have been Ian Paice) said that Deep Purple were not sure whether or not they would make a new album. Not everyone in the band felt there was any point. But Glover (and I suspect it was he) said that making an album is like capturing a snapshot of where the band is at musically at that time.

Bob Ezrin, in a recent interview that was published on the Deep Purple site "Highway Star": "I said, 'If you want to be a contemporary rock band and be relevant give up, forget it, it ain't gonna happen and I'm not the right guy to produce it. No one will play this record on radio; no one will care about it in the contemporary business, but I you want to make THAT record - if you want to make that unashamed musically brilliant record, I'm in,' and they did."

Producer Bob Ezrin wasn't interested in taking on Now What?! until he saw Deep Purple play live. Blown away by the power of their rock and floored by the band's ability to play like a progressive rock band, he decided that if the band were willing to record that kind of music, he was in.

Deep Purple is one of my favourite bands and twice in my life I have gone through a Purple phase where I listened to nothing but. However, I wasn't really in the right place musically to buy the new album. Not just yet. Then I read the reviews and went straight away and ordered it. It hasn't left my earbuds for the last three days and I am on my seventh listen through. Make no bones about it, this is one of their best.

The Music: Deep Purple continue in the same musical trajectory as they have been going since Steve Morse joined the band 19 years ago. The general vibe of Now What?! strikes me as being a cross between Perpendicular and Rapture of the Deep. The music follows mostly a mid- tempo pace but sounds more like progressive heavy rock than it has for quite some time. One might suspect that Bob Ezrin played a big part in making that happen, telling the band to put that kind of live stuff into the studio recordings. Many songs include extended instrumental sections, such as Hell to Pay and Après Vous, with flamboyant solos and colourful introductions (Uncommon Man with its symphonic introduction, Après Vous sounding like ELP, the spacy effects at the beginning of Out of Hand and the pipe organ and choir at the beginning of Vincent Price). The production is sharp and sounds clear; there are no scratchy distorted bits like on Bananas and Rapture. The music is mostly heavy but with some slower parts (check out the intro to A Simple Song or parts of Blood From a Stone. Synthesized brass and woodwind instruments appear, and for progheads, Uncommon Man moves through different parts and instrumental sections.

Don Airey: When Don Airey was asked initially to cover for Jon Lord it was said that there were few in the music business who could take on that monumental task. But Airey had quite a background: Colosseum II, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake (Jon Lord had been there done that too), and many other appearances plus a solo album (he now has three). The man knows how to play a Hammond organ in the DP style but also uses synthesizers in his own way. He really shines on this album, having been given more room than on Rapture. Listen to the Wurlitzer piano on Blood from a Stone and see if you don't think of Riders on the Storm. In Hell to Pay, we are taken back to 1968 with an organ solo that seems to rumble out homage to Jon Lord. There's a weird synthesizer solo in Weirdistan, cosmic effects in Out of Hand, piano and organ in It'll Be Me, and various keyboards and dueling with Morse in Après Vous. Catch the powerful organ riff in Above and Beyond or Airey's work in Uncommon Man. At times this sounds like classic DP transplanted in the modern sound.

Steve Morse: At first hardly noticed him. Good heavy riffs and signature shredding but no acoustic work like Fingers to the Bone or The Aviator. There's no real folk, classical, or renaissance (okay we don't want Deep Purple to sound like Blackmore's Night) even though Morse is totally capable. A little blues and lots of metal and rock is what we get this time. He takes the lead or solo solo in some tracks and plays with his usual style. He's very Morse on Out of Hand and his Bodyline solo is very driving and funky. All the Time in the World's melodious solo is like something from Perpendicular. He takes charge in Vicent Price with triple tracked guitars. A big surprise comes at the beginning of his solos in Hell to Pay and Blood from a Stone because I could almost hear a Ritchie Blackmore tribute. And then there's some great prog work in Après Vous.

Glover and Paice: These two are always solid and steady, not flash. Glover keeps the simple but thunderous bass in control but lets some solid rocking basslines roll in Hell to Pay and Après Vous. Paice plays a good complex rhythm beat to Bodyline and seems to barely keep his sticks under control in the intro. There are no Chasing Shadows/You Fool No One mind- blowing percussion compositions but good work from the stool with tempo changes and use of percussion equipment. And just listen to that Glover/Paice rhythm section roll for Airey's solo in Hell to Pay.

Gillan: Once the lungs that made banshees flee into the night, Gillan now wisely keeps to his present range. We get only one "Whaaooh!" and maybe that's good. It can't be easy to be 67 and scream your head off night after night. Thankfully, there's no whine! I love Ian Gillan but at times he affects this whiney tone that irks me, and it's not here on this album. He gets close when he gets forceful in his singing but keeps his voice under control. There are a number of chorus mixes or overdubs which work on the album but will be a challenge to work out live. There are no echoes as there were on Rapture's Clearly Quite Absurd and Before Time Began, and no scratches as there were on Bananas' Haunted. Gillian's humour and word play still show up in his lyrics. So far, I like the lyrics of All the Time in the World best. "Like Zeno's toytus with Achilles snapping at my heels" or "Sometimes I sit and think. Sometimes I just sit".

Disappointments: Basically my only real disappointment is that some songs end the same way. Vincent Price, Uncommon Man, Après Vous have an extended instrumental section then a couple of lines from a verse or the chorus and then abruptly end. Especially Vincent Price could have been given a few measures more to really blow the top off. It's like waiting for the explosion and then missing it because you turned to a friend to say, "This is gonna be good".

Repeat playability? Seven times straight in the iPhone and once more in the car. Not all songs will please everyone all but each song has its merits. My favourites are Après Vous, A Simple Song, Vincent Price, Uncommon Man, Weirdistan, and Blood from a Stone. Deep Purple have added more progressive elements into this album. If you have the bonus track It'll Be Me then think of it as just that. It's a bonus track, a B-side, in a different groove. Not too much to say but the lyrics are funny though.

Call this a hard rock album? Yeah! This has become one of my top 5 Deep Purple albums now. Very well done guys.
poslednijat_colobar
What a comeback after an extensive touring for about 8 years! Hard rock giants Deep Purple shattered all the critics with Now What?!. It's an unique album with many facets. It's typical Deep Purple album, but on the other hand it's something else, as well. It's hard rock, it's symphonic prog, it's funky, it's jazzy, it's Perfect Strangers, it's Purpendicular, it's Yes, ELP and Pink Floyd, but most importantly - it's one of best and most balanced Deep Purple albums. The arrangements of the songs are precise. The songwriting is highly compressed and full of ideas, developed in accurate, direct manner. That means to create progressive rock album with hard rock means of expression! The "conversations" between rhythm section (Paice and Glover), organ solos (Airey), guitar solos (Morse) and The Voice (Gillan) are highly addictive. Highly recommended album by one of greatest bands ever! Deserved 4,5 stars! Another gloden page in Deep Purple's extensive and brilliant career!

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