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This is the standard CD format of the Deep Purple InFinite album which comes in a jewel box.
Deep Purple are one of the most influential British rock bands of all time. With 120 million albums sold worldwide, they are one of the most loved British bands of all time. Recently inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, they have inspired and shaped the taste of generations of hard rock musicians and fans with milestone albums like "In Rock" or "Machine Head" which are essential chapters in rock music history. Their live album "Made in Japan" is often referred as one of the best (if not "the best" live album of all times).
"NOW What?!", released in 2013, brought Deep Purple back to the top of the charts worldwide. The tour that followed sold over a million tickets worldwide. Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Ian Paice are the three members from the current line-up who have been part of the band since it's "Mark II" version, the one that is considered the "absolute classic".
The current line-up of the band is completed by Don Airey (about to release his 4th album with the band) and Steve Morse (who has been in the band for over 20 years, about to release his 6th studio albums with Deep Purple). With "inFinite" and the associated "The Long Goodbye" tour, Deep Purple are approaching a turning point. Is the band about to write the final chapter of its career?
As a natural follow up to the worldwide success of "NOW What?!", "inFinite" has once again been produced by Bob Ezrin who has formed with the five members of Deep Purple, an explosive songwriting team. "InFinite" is possibly the most "seventies" of all Deep Purple albums released since the 1984 reunion with "Perfect Strangers". Ezrin and Deep Purple have managed to capture the purest Purple classic sound while staying well away from the temptation to be nostalgic or to "play themselves". On the contrary the band shows the tranquillity to not care about delivering short songs or to limit the long solos and the moments of improvisation. Just as when the story started, in an ideal cycle that comes to completion. From "in Rock" to "in-finite". Possibly destined to end, but still terribly good.
The end, the allusion of the band's forthcoming tour name, a theme recurring in the songs and surely something that the band will be asked about. If this is really the farewell album by Deep Purple, there could not be a better one, or are they once again making fun of everybody?
"Deep Purple's progressive album" - it's what a critic said after a recent private playback of the album. "We are an instrumental jazz band, with somebody occasionally singing on it," was Ian Gillan's reply. If this is the case, guitars haven't been harder for a jazz band, "inFinite" in fact shows also a side of Steve Morse that not everybody was expecting, melodic, raw, close to the roots of the blues rock.
"InFinite" is heavy and delicate at the same time, with an inspired Ian Gillan who is totally free from the duty to sound as people expect, delivering a versatile and exciting vocal performance during the whole album.
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Everybody is so locked in on this album; Gillan is having fun, Morse is killing it, Glover is pounding away, Paice is mixing it up, and Airey….oh my God, Airey! This is his album to shine, and does he ever! He seriously evokes the spirit of Jon Lord while putting his own flair and flourish on the songs. Several stand out, and in a big way. I’m loving Bedlam, Hip Boots, All I Got Is You (favorite track!), The Surprising, On Top of the World, and the sweet cover of Roadhouse Blues by the Doors. And the others get honorable mention, because they’re just barely a step behind these. I need a little more time to let the whole thing sink in, but my early impression is that this is easily one of my favorites of the Morse era, might end up being my favorite over Purpendicular, and it just might go down as a classic for today’s Deep Purple.
For those who might want to complain, “How can you can give this five stars, this is not as good as Machine Head!” don’t even bother. This is not 1974 Deep Purple, and I’m not going to judge them by 1974 standards. For the 2017 version of Deep Purple, comprised of senior citizens at this point, this is a hard rocking, butt-kicking middle finger of an album that I am going to enjoy listening to for years to come. Thank you, Deep Purple!
Ian Gillan is in fine voice here.
Some of the highlights.
Time For Bedlam: A driving rocker with great topical lyrical content.
All I Got Is You: Sounds like it might be a ballad. Oh no. It builds and builds as Ian Gillan details a break up in increasingly angry terms. Tremendous track
Hip Boots: A swaggering rocker. If Deep Purple and Zeppelin had a baby...this is what it would sound like...
The Surprising: This is just an amazing track that defies easy description. Swirling keyboards and mellow guitar highlight some lovely lyrical content sung beautifully by Ian Gillan. The song veers into a strangely wonderful instrumental section, punctuated by Metallica like guitar thrashing interspersed with almost symphonic keyboard work. It sounds weird, but it works beautifully and just begs to be played live. The song then veers back into more lovely lyrics and a very rousing finish. This is the most original rock song I have heard in ages and it just begs to be played repeatedly.
Birds of Prey: Another song that is hard to quantify. Slower in pace, but increasingly heavy, this song has a tremendous build up and if the boys were going for epic, they succeeded mightily here.
The rest of the CD is really good. If properly promoted, Johnny's Band, a rollicking riffy little rock number about the rise and fall of a rock band could get some airplay on rock radio stations. While the rest of the CD doesn't quite rise to the level of the songs I highlighted, there really isn't a weak track on the CD.
If you like classic rock....this is a must buy in 2017.
To top all of that off I haven't even mentioned the true gem on this CD. For me it's " The Surprising". Absolute masterpiece of a song and probably the most progressive on the album.
Also need to mention just like I did for " Now What". Don Aireys keyboards are superb once again. The DP rhythm section is perfect and 71 year old Ian Gillans voice is still fantastic. Easily 5 stars and nearly as perfect as Now What. The only track that is so so is the cover of the Doors Roadhouse Blues. Nothing wrong in the fact it's a good song and the band played it well, they just kinda did it plain. Well done but sorta amateurish like a really good bar band. Regardless this is easily a 5 star album and continues the success the band is having with Don and Steve.