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Deep Purple: Whoosh!

For their 21st studio album, legendary British hard rock act Deep Purple have once again enlisted the production help of Bob Ezrin for Whoosh!, which follows up Now What? and Infinite as a splendid trio of albums in their late career renaissance that has seen them prosper with guitarist Steve Morse and keyboard player Don Airey. As with the previous two offerings, Ezrin's magic wand reveals a mature, sophisticated Purple, different from the brash, dangerous band of old and more of a well-oiled machine who crank out fun songs with plenty of the classic trimmings, a bunch of old geezers who still know how to rock like the Deep Purple we always remembered.

"Throw My Bones" kicks things off in fine fashion, a steady rocker with some great hooks, Airey relying on his array of synths for a brighter sound, Morse laying down the basic riff and tossing in a blazing solo while Ian Gillan does his trademark vocal storytelling. "Drop the Weapon" is one of the more rousing numbers here, Airey's rampaging Hammond organ front & center alongside some tasty licks from Morse, Ian Paice and Roger Glover locked into a tremendous groove. It's easily one of the more 'old-school' Purple sounding tracks on the album. A nasty Morse & Airey riff introduces "We're All the Same in the Dark", another stellar hard rock song with a lyrics from Gillan that is all too relevant here in 2020, which leads into the gorgeous, uplifting "Nothing at All", complete with Celtic styled guitar patters from Morse and Airey's atmospheric Hammond. Gillan is a delight on this one, and while he isn't the shrieking demon from days long past, his elder statesman delivery on a song like this is absolutely charming. "No Need to Shout" contains plenty of heavy riffs and lethal Hammond tones, and is another one of the heavier tracks here, though I could have done without the honky tonk piano from Airey during the mid-section.

Don's creepy organ tones announce "Step By Step", a somber, mid-paced number that's one of the weaker tracks on the album. Gillan's vocal is very laid back, and the band crawls along with him every step of the way, though there are some nice guitar & organ passages. "What the What" is the other misfire, a honky tonk boogie number that sounds more like Status Quo with piano than Deep Purple...doesn't quite work, though the band sounds like they are having a blast. They jump back on target with the heavy "The Long Way Round", thick Morse riffing over Paice's nimble drum fills as Gillan is all his regal self, which is followed by the atmospheric, chilling prog number "The Power of the Moon", Gillan's almost soothing, dreamy spoken work vocal floating over understated arrangements. "Remission Possible" is a not quite 2-minute instrumental that is a shred fest for Morse & Airey...I'd love to hear more of this type of thing, but it's over just before it really gets going. "Man Alive" is the big proggy number, stacked with lush Hammond organ, Glover's huge bass lines, alluring Gillan vocals, and lots of guitar layers from Morse. A wonderful track. The regular album ends with "And the Address", a remake of the instrumental song that was the first track of Shades of Deep Purple, the album that started it all. Morse & Airey kill it here, and Paice is working overtime. Does this signal the end of the band, as they bookend their first and last albums with the same song? Time will tell, though there is a bonus track here, called "Dancing in My Sleep", a bright, groove laden hard rocker with a great chorus and plenty of bubbly synths and muscular guitars, plus a tasty Airey Hammond solo.

With Whoosh!, should Deep Purple decide to call it a career, they once again delivered a very strong album that holds up well not only with the best of the Morse/Airey era, but against their entire discography. Otherwise, if they still plan to continue cranking out more new material every so often, the creative juices appear to be still flowing for them to do so.


Track Listing
01. Throw My Bones
02. Drop The Weapon
03. We're All The Same In The Dark
04. Nothing At All
05. No Need To Shout
06. Step By Step
07. What The What
08. The Long Way Round
09. The Power Of The Moon
10. Remission Possible
11. Man Alive
12. And The Address
13. Dancing In My Sleep

Added: August 22nd 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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Language: english

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