DEEP PURPLE — InFinite

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DEEP PURPLE - InFinite cover
3.18 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2017

Filed under Hard Rock
By DEEP PURPLE

Tracklist

1. Time for Bedlam
2. Hip Boots
3. All I've Got Is You
4. One Night in Vegas
5. Get Me Outta Here
6. The Surprising
7. Johnny's Band
8. On Top of the World
9. Birds of Prey
10. Roadhouse Blues

Line-up/Musicians

- Ian Paice / Drums, Percussion
- Roger Glover / Bass, Vocals
- Ian Gillan / Vocals
- Steve Morse / Guitars, Vocals
- Don Airey / Keyboards, Organ

About this release

Release date: April 7, 2017
Label: earMUSIC

Thanks to diamondblack for the addition

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voila_la_scorie
So what do you do when one of your all time favourite bands announces that they've got a new album coming out? You get yourself on the preorder list and order the version with the bonus EP, that's what! Deep Purple have remained a favourite band of mine ever since I got into them around the time I was 13 and the MkII reunion was just about to make the news.

The band has had a varied history and changed style a lot since their debut of July 1968. After the reunion album, "Perfect Strangers", Deep Purple struggled with "House of Blue Light", the sacking of Ian Gillan, the Purple Rainbow album "Slaves and Masters" (4/5 DP, 3/5 Rainbow), the re-acquisition of Gillan and the final departure of Ritchie Blackmore. Releases after the phenomenal "Perfect Strangers" were spotty. Then came Steve Morse into the line up and with new blood came a new sound. This is the sound that Deep Purple have kept up more or less since then, even through the retirement of the late great Jon Lord and recruitment of Don Airey, whose Deep Purple family record includes playing in Whitesnake and Rainbow and playing with Nicky Simper in a band called Quartermass II, which also included Mick Underwood on drums (Mick played with Gillan in Gillan and with Gillan and Glover in Episode Six).

A happy band and a fairly stable lineup has still produced some less than marvelous albums, though in my opinion "Bananas" and "Rapture of the Deep" could have been better without the spotty production. For a while it seemed that there would be no more Deep Purple albums with at least one band member stating that albums were dying out and the cost of making them would never be recouped in sales. But then came the remarkable "Now What?!" - remarkable because producer Bob Ezrin got the band to forget about the charts and just make a great album. That 2013 release touched back to 1995's "Purpendicular" while also tapping into some MkI sounds and solos. Deep Purple were almost prog again!

Sooooo, now four years later, the band has released a new heavy and what of it? Well, the boys are back with Bob Ezrin and back in the same studio in Nashville. The first thing you'll notice is that the classic DP sound is intact: heavy rock guitar, swirling and rumbling organ, a solid rhythm section and, of course, Ian Gillan's vocals and wit. The band sound confident and also they sound like they are having a blast. Ian Paice said in an interview that they really have fun making music, and as if to corroborate Paice's sentiments, Roger Glover said in a separate interview that they had so much fun making "Now What?!" that they wanted to make another album. And there's even the possibility that the future may bring yet another album!

The songs are a mix of politically charged messages like "Time for Bedlam" and "Birds of Prey" and a host of rockers with humorous inspirations and lyrics. Gillan delivers the best vocal opening ever on "Hip Boots" with the line, "You can bury up to my knees in shit!", which is all the more effective after the sombre ending to "Time for Bedlam". "One Night in Vegas" is the recounting of a story of a guy who drank too much in Vegas and woke up the next day with a wife. The kicker is that they are still married thirty years later! "Johnny's Band" is a condensed version of the history of all those old classic bands who got a hit song, became famous, went downhill, broke up, and then regrouped decades later to play their old classics. Glover emphasizes that this is not a Purple story. "On Top of the World" has raconteur lyricist Gillan telling an old story about a wild time on the roof of a building in Kuala Lumpur and the anticlimactic conclusion the next day. The final lyrics are spoken and end with, "I made my excuses and left through the door / Stepped into space off the 20th floor / And that's... why I don't like heights no more." We also find that the lyrics have become more profane. After the first three songs, we've heard "shit", "piss", "ass" and "f%#&ing". Gillan says that he used to be an angry young man, but now he's f%#&ing furious. No shit!

I gotta say that after the first listen, I liked the album; after the second I liked it more; and after the third, I just wanted to listen to it again! But I also listened to "Now What?!" once more and there are two things I noticed. The first is that the previous album had longer instrumental passages and came across as more progressive, if showing off your solo and instrumental music writing talent makes you progressive. Both Steve Morse and Don Airey really brought back that early DP atmosphere. "InFinite's" songs are generally shorter with less emphasis on instrumental sections. The other thing that occurred to me was that Steve Morse is not so strongly in the mix, nor does he deliver as much guitar wizardry as he has on past albums. While Don Airey stands out with his flooding organ sweeps, Steve has almost left his trademark shredding at the studio door and instead delivers some less-than-outstanding lead guitar. His solos fit in well with the music, so he's done well there. But there is little this time that affirms his diverse skill on the guitar.

Nevertheless, this is a short and fun, rock out album. It's heavy at times, it's a party at times, and there's always a spot or two that requires you to think a little. This is not going to make Deep Purple chart toppers or even be an album for the history books. But for an old band I think they have delivered a very decent package.
siLLy puPPy
An unbelievable half century, yes that’s correct, 50 years(!!!) since the seeds of the group were sown in their first incarnation called Roundabout, the band that became DEEP PURPLE just a year later has defied the odds of surviving far into the following century. Almost as if giving a sign of their intent to stay around forever, they release their 20th studio album INFINITE (which cleverly depicts the initials DP forming the infinity sign that has been broken into ocean ice floes by the icebreaker USCGC Healy of the US Coast Guard) in 2017 although the first single “Time For Bedlam” was released as a teaser in Dec 2016 and caught my attention as it signaled that the band were aiming for their classic early 70s sound when they were hitting high notes with “In Rock” and “Machine Head.” Despite the classic Mark II sound, this is the same DEEP PURPLE lineup that has been consistent since 2003’s “Bananas” album with longtime members Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Ian Paice alongside newbies Steve Morse filling the shoes of the classic Ritchie Blackmore and Don Airey taking over the keyboard duties of legendary Jon Lord. Despite the newer lineup, everyone successfully channeled their inner early 70s zeitgeists and create one of the most retro albums of their career with INFINITE.

After an unusual monk like chant accompanying a droning synthesizer the band jumps right into their classic business on the opener “Time For Bedlam” which contains all of the elements that made the classic period so damned good as they check off each and every one of them. All those classic guitar riffs and melodic solos? Check. Magical organ runs that provide ample amounts of atmosphere and exquisitely designed classical workouts? Check. Catchy hooky melodies that make memorable sing-alongs? Check. Percussive drive with all the rhythmic breaks and appropriate pauses? Ditto. Even Ian Gillan sounds the same although it’s somewhat obvious at times that he has passed his prime but at the age of 71 his voice has held up quite well. The only time i feel he’s woefully substandard is on the Doors cover track “Roadhouse Blues,” but then again who could possibly fill Jim Morrison’s shoes?!!!

INFINITE delivers exactly what you would expect from a retro sounding album that somewhat makes the listener wonder if the album was actually created in the early 70s and the band have just finally gotten around to it as every aspect including lyrical content brings one back to a more care-free era of energetic hard rock and free love at its creative peak. While DEEP PURPLE released a fair number albums of this type in the 70s, the songwriting has always been a bit hit and miss on some of their lesser knowns but on INFINITE they manage to conjure up a whole album’s worth of catchy hard hitting tracks that for the listening time suspend all belief that the most members are well into their 70s and the youngest band member, Steve Morse is 62! Perhaps my favorite aspect of this album is the letting-it-loose keyboard skills of Don Airey who unleashes his playing prowess in myriad forms. Not only does he emulate Jon Lords rhythmic key riffing of the past but dishes out some seriously quickened and individualized solos and really fills Lord’s shoes in every possible way while adding his own touches that fit in with the intended retro sound so well.

If a totally retro DEEP PURPLE album appeals to you then you are in for a treat. The album is particularly strong in the songwriting department and will truly tinkle your ivories with riff and after riff reminding you of the good old days however this album is not without its flaws. My main gripe is with the horribly compressed production which sounds too flat and tinny for its own good. Perhaps they were trying too hard to sound authentically retro but ultimately this is the biggest impediment for enjoying the album despite the great tracks. Ultimately this is a decent comeback album that follows the direction initiated by 2013’s “Now What?!” with a return to bluesy hard rock with that classic keyboard sound but for an album that is released in 2017 i would expect a more robust engineering job in the studio even if the final desired product was to be as 1972 as possible, i mean even albums FROM 1972 sound better than this. As for the music itself, i personally think this is the best DEEP PURPLE album since 1984’s “Perfect Strangers” as i’ve always found the three decades of material that came after to be fairly stagnant and well,,,, boring! INFINITE finds DEEP PURPLE realizing they needed to move away from their less than exciting experiments they’ve engaged in and revert back to what they have always been the best at, namely crank out the classic keyboard driven hard rock gusto that made them a household name in the first place and with INFINITE they more than prove that they don’t need Blackmore or Lord to revisit those glory days.

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  • Rumblestrip
  • morgoliath1
  • karolcia
  • Lynx33
  • GWLHM76
  • Foffone
  • dark2711
  • sepozzsla
  • kalacho
  • cefr45
  • stefanbedna
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • MetalArea
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