New music from Deep Purple is always something to celebrate, and Whoosh! is the best new album from them since Purpendicular.
Let’s think about this for a second. I remember when Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple – both times. It really seemed like that would be all she wrote, so to speak, and it was clearly a setback. But the band has released a ton of new, excellent material outside of Blackmore’s shadow. When Jon Lord left in 2002, I really thought that would be it for Deep Purple. He had stayed with the band for many years after Blackmore left and had been there up to the hiatus that began in 1976 and since reformation that occurred in 1994. And yet Deep Purple persevered.
The band has the same lineup this time as it has had since 2002 with Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Don Airey, and Steve Morse. The first three musicians are the most recognizable to Deep Purple fans because of their long tenure stretching back into the 1960s. But Don Airey has been with them since 2002 and Steve Morse has been there even longer, since 1994, so they have all been playing together for a good long while.
The band credits some of the success of the song writing and production to Bob Ezrin, a legend in the music industry. This is his third time working with Deep Purple. Whether it was Ezrin’s influence or whether the stars just all aligned right, Whoosh! is a great album.
The set opens with a jazzy little vamp at the front of “Throw My Bones,” Ian Gillan tells us “All I got is what I need / And that’s enough as far as I can see / Why should I walk into the Great Unknown / When I can sit here and throw my bones.” In fact, the message of this entire album is basically to lighten up, it all comes and goes so fast (that’s the “whoosh!”) that getting all wound up about things juts ruins the little bit of time that you do have. Gillan’s voice is in solid shape. It is not “Child In Time” or “Born Again” but it is most definitely Gillan – instantly recognizable. The production is full with extra helpings of keyboards at the right moments and crisp guitar enterprises at the appropriate peaks. There are plenty of memorable hooks and tongue-in-cheek lyrical moments throughout. This is the high point for Mark VIII so far.
In interviews about the production of this new album, Deep Purple talks about how weird the world of music is right now and that they don’t have anything scheduled for another year. That’s a lot of time to do nothing, so maybe there’ll be another new album or at least some more new music before the next tour. I’d bet on just a couple songs because the material on this album needs be toured – I would hate to think that none of it ever gets played live because of even newer music that passes it by.
Whoosh! is out now and you can get it anywhere. There are lots of products related to this issue if you want something memorable. Recommended for Purple fans and anybody interested in the newest iteration of what was classic rock.
Band photo snagged from the official Facebook page.