Deep Purple - Whoosh!
Classic Rock
13 songs (51:30)
Release year: 2020
Deep Purple
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

As ever with bands formed in the 60s it's always a delight to receive anything new from them, and when that band is the legendary Deep Purple it's an especial delight. Sure, the band that produced such classics as In Rock and Machine Head is largely gone to history, but even so the core of the group - Paice, Glover, and Gillan - are intact, and guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey have both been in Deep Purple long enough to have become essential. And they're all such veterans that cranking out a full fifty minute album seems effortless in a very different way than, say, the Metallicas of the world make an entire Hollywood production out of each studio (or live!) release. You can imagine Deep Purple meeting in the studio, sharing a drink and a laugh, and then more or less immediately knocking out a song like Throw My Bones, the opener here; a comforting, warm piece of classic rock with a message of being happy with what you have that's heavy on keyboards and melodies. It reveals all of their influences, from classical to R&B to straightforward pop, being written around the hooks from vocal to keyboards. And even the guitars are in service to the song, groovy anchoring hard rock riffs that help to envelope your ears in the Deep Purple sound from the start, and leaving you wanting more each time it fades out after three-odd-minutes instead of jamming on forever.

This experience is repeated again and again throughout the charming and fun Whoosh! The funky We're All the Same in the Dark gives Gillan a chance to croon and the man still more than has it, giving even relatively longer songs like The Long Way Round emotional weight and adding to The Power of the Moon's ominous feel. Songs rarely outstay their welcome, fitting in keyboard solos and proggy passages smoothly into the general three-to-five minute runtime, and there's even a sub-two minute instrumental workout in Remission Possible, acting as a mini-intro to dreamy prog piece Man Alive, complete with a spoken section that actually works well in the track! Don Airey's keyboards are, surprisingly, the highlight in many cases here, his diverse and varied contributions often making songs all the better such as adding boogie-woogie piano to rock n'roll drinking anthem What the What or giving the melancholic Nothing at All a pastoral prog vibe that more than fits the environmentalist lyrics, let alone enhancing the subtly infectious melodies. The late Jon Lord is of course, more than sadly missed but Airey more than proves his worth as a replacement on these songs alone. Some could criticise Steve Morse too, for not being Ritchie Blackmore, but throughout the album his playing is fantastic, not obviously showy but always enhancing the song and always impressive when you notice it amongst the rich mix of sounds that make up this (very well-produced) album.

And what's more, the sometimes cringy lyrical lines of past records are largely absent; not entirely, true. But there's nothing as clunking and blunt as the anarchist boomer nonsense of "sucking my milk from the venomous tit of the state" here, thankfully. The one awkward moment here is the anti knife-crime sermon Drop the Weapon ("Little brother, I'm telling you now/Your pride can take a hit" - that'll convert the gangbangers!) but even then the instrumentation is more than fantastic enough to distract you. No Need to Shout's weariness with being preached at, conversely, is something that will resonate with all, the female backing vocalists adding a funk/soul vibe alongside Airey's piano that more than fits in with the Purple aesthetic. There's little otherwise to criticise, except for wishing that, say, Step by Step felt a little more focused - yet it is hardly poor with those organs and almost whimsical air, one of a fantastically consistent set of songs overall. And finishing the album with a cover of their own And the Address that originally opened 1968's Shades of Deep Purple is a nice little closing of the circle. It must have been an interesting moment for Ian Paice, the sole remaining member who played on the original over fifty years ago! Who is still, of course, a fantastic drummer at over 70 years of age, surviving a stroke and childhood tuberculosis that destroyed part of his left lung. It's always sobering to consider mortality, particularly so for musical heroes who are long into the twilight of their careers and each new album from them is a gift we rarely appreciate as we should. The fading spaceman on the cover suggests a similar finality; if this is the end for the band, fading into space with an almost imperceptible whoosh, then it's a fine album to go out on. You can tell the band had a good time making Whoosh!, and it's just as enjoyable to listen to.

Killing Songs :
Throw My Bones, We're All the Same in the Dark, Nothing at All, Man Alive
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Deep Purple that we have reviewed:
Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are reviewed by Thomas and quoted 81 / 100
Deep Purple - Fireball reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Deep Purple - Deep Purple in Rock reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Deep Purple - History, Hits & Highlights '68 - '76 (DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Deep Purple - Around The World Live (DVD Box Set) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
To see all 11 reviews click here
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