April 07, 2022

Deep Purple - Whoosh! (2020) ☠

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hard Rock
Label Number: 0214757EMU
☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2020 Ear Music
Whoosh! is Deep Purple's 21st album, and their third consecutive outing produced and co-written with Bob Ezrin. Until 2013, the band mainly looked inward to helm the producer's chair, but Ezrin's deep knowledge of their iconic sound makes him uniquely qualified. He helped rein in DP's more excessive impulses to make Now What?! (2013) and 2017's chart-topping Infinite rise above virtually everything they cut during the '90s and the earlier part of the 21st century.

Somehow, this collaboration resulted in Whoosh! sounding so organic, it would have a staple on rock radio in 1974, yet it still manages to register as utterly modern. Whoosh!'s 13 tracks are tightly written, economical (only two songs are over five minutes) hard rock songs saturate in edgy pop hooks, prog interludes, and the band's signature approach to groove. Adopting the studio motto "Deep Purple is putting the 'Deep' back in 'Purple,'" they let their creative impulses freely serve their blues-influenced hard rock.

Opener and first single "Throw My Bones" joins Don Airey's organ and Steve Morse's guitar in the vamp. It's tempered by an anthemic melody in the chorus as Ian Gillan (in excellent voice) delivers the death-defying lyric, "All I got is what I need/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…." "We're All the Same in the Dark" is a balls-to-the-wall rocker led by Ian Paice's thudding drums and a filthy blues rock guitar riff, framed by Roger Glover's bassline. Airey's organ simultaneously reinforces the vamp, adds fills, and a propulsive rhythmic energy that pushes the other players. Single "Nothing at All" is further afield musically than Deep Purple have been in a long time. The melody melds Bach-influenced organ patterns, knotty, staccato guitars and a lithe, bright, midtempo melody that seduces even as it packs a punch. The snarling organ intro in "No Need to Shout" frames one of the band's best attempts at a stadium rocker in a dog's age, though the bluesy swagger in "The Long Way Round" is a close second. They get the barroom boogie in with the rootsy hard rocker "What the What." "The Power of the Moon" showcases the band at their dark, progressive best; Airey's potent, swirling organ guides the band through a labyrinthine prog rock journey, while "Step by Step" is a sinister, atmospheric, blues-rocker. There's a pair of instrumentals here, too: "Remission Possible" is a gnarly prog rock juggernaut with soaring guitar and organ solos, while "And the Address" is a killer remake of the opening tune from 1968's Shades of Deep Purple. It delivers a wily funk vamp, Morse's razor-wire guitar solo (that briefly nods to Richie Blackmore's original break), and soulful, jazzy organ. Whoosh! is musically superior to its immediate, Ezrin-produced predecessors, but it's more, too: If it's the last album Deep Purple release, it should be remembered as among their best.

tags: deep purple, whoosh, 2020, flac,

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