Deep Purple - Rapture Of The Deep
Hard Rock
11 songs (56'14)
Release year: 2005
Deep Purple, EMI
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
After mixed reactions to Deep Purple's last album Bananas, (mostly unfavorable) Ian Gillan and company were determined to come back with a more harder edged and classic Deep Purple record and press releases by band members during the making of Rapture Of The Deep indicated that this was exactly what they had in mind. I personally liked Bananas however I seem to be in the minority on that one! It had some clever tunes, newer types of song styles and overall the classic Deep Purple sound was still there but there just wasn't enough of that for most people. I'm a bit late at reviewing this as it came out this past fall but I just started to really get into this album only a couple of weeks ago and seeing that the end of 2005 is now upon us, I wanted to squeak it in before the awards officially went up.

Rapture Of The Deep is the second album without long time keyboard player Jon Lord who left several years ago. With veteran Don Airey (Rainbow, Ozzy) taking over the keys, he has more than upheld the legacy of Deep Purple with a style and sound that is very similar to Jon Lord's. Even to the die-hard fan, it's really hard to tell that it's not Jon on the keyboards. Upon initial listens to this album, it has an obvious catchiness and classic Deep Purple sound and groove that it's very easy to like and has been getting rave reviews in the press ever since it's release. Several tracks caught my attention right away with others taking a few more listens to really get into. The trademark heavy guitar and Hammond keyboard riffs are all over tracks like the album opener Money Talks, Girls Like That and Wrong Man. Money Talks is one of many tracks that really takes the band back to the sound of their 1984 album Perfect Strangers. Girls Like That also has the faster "boogie" Deep Purple edge that we last heard on tracks like Hard Lovin' Woman from the House Of Blue Light album back in 1986. Wrong Man features that classic "lazy" and heavy groove that's been such a staple of the band's sound for decades now and guitarist Steve Morse really lets loose with some solid lead guitar breaks. The title track Rapture Of The Deep again has the Perfect Strangers album vibe complete with very tightly syncopated neo-classical flavored guitar and organ riffs. Dreamy, atmospheric and driving at the same time, it also features some amazing guitar and organ leads.

Other album highlights include the surprisingly likeable Clearly Quite Absurd. With quiet and clean guitar melodies as well as piano and keyboard orchestrations, it reminds me a bit of material from the band's awesome Purpendicular album from the mid 90's. Slowly building in intensity, Ian Gillan offers up a strong vocal performance in this more laid-back ballad type of track. Back To Back features more of the booming guitar/organ riffing that really defines the Deep Purple sound with a solid chorus section and ripping lead guitar and synthesizer solos. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is the album's one and only up tempo rocker that offers up a rather apocalyptic view of the future complete with a solid main riff and a great groove throughout. Honorable mentions must also go to MTV, a sort of novelty track that sees Ian Gillan singing the praises of classic rock radio over the pop culture of the whole MTV generation and the finishing track Before Time Began which begins as a quiet and laid back song before slowly building into a heavy and emotional one with a great performance by Ian Gillan.

Ian Gillan's clever and witty lyrics are as great as ever and there's a certain freshness to this album even though it's very much based in the 70's and 80's as far as the type of sound and song writing styles. Every track has a certain catchiness to it and as far as album highlights, it's really a matter of preference. Steve Morse once again provides solid guitar work and is very careful not to "overplay" his role in the band and to help preserve the classic Deep Purple sound. Roger Glover and Ian Paice once again provide one of the best rhythm sections in the business and overall, I'd say that this album is a huge success. In a recent interview with Ian Gillan, he stated that more than three quarters of this band's income comes from live performances hence the reason they play so many shows. Bad management and very bad business practices in the heydays of the band back in the 70's left the remaining members very little income from their back catalogue. Although they are really a classic rock band, they are still putting out quality new material and nowhere is this more evident than with Rapture Of The Deep. Highly recommended to Deep Purple fans and if you haven't bought a new album by them in many years, this is the perfect one to pick up.

Killing Songs :
Money Talks, Wrong Man, Rapture Of The Deep, Back To Back and Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Marty quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Deep Purple that we have reviewed:
Deep Purple - Whoosh! reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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
To see all 11 reviews click here
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