The chances of getting something positive out of putting a bunch of old rock musicians into the studio could be fairly slim, some might reckon. Nevertheless, this is exactly what is happening these days. Some of the biggest in rock and heavy music are churning out new material, most notably of course Black Sabbath, but also Deep Purple are releasing their new album, 'Now What?' just now. A four track single was released in March, and I'm fortunate enough to having been sent a copy.
I honestly didn't know what to expect, but the title track of the CD in a way confirmed me fears. Extremely polished pop/rock with no bite whatsoever.
And then again: After having listened to the track a bunch of times, it has grown immensely on me. It's not just bluesy pop/rock, it's extremely well-produced (Bob Ezrin!) and after a while it really gets under your skin due to its melancholy edge. It has a touch of Chris Rea, admittedly, but Gillan's voice makes a difference.
The second track, Hell to Pay has more punch and lends to Purple of yonder years. No, it doesn't quite have the wildfire of the seventies, and who'd expect that? I like it.
The live tracks, first the classic Perfect Strangers and the title track from 2005's 'Rapture of the Deep' are songs I don't really know, but I can conclude that there's a clear thread between the two tunes. It sounds, even if I don't feel the rush of familiarity which is probably expected from the purchasers of this album. Nevermind, they're good songs, even if they'll probably never be my favourite Purple songs (everything off 'Machinehead', please!).
I have no idea if this is the case for the albums of the past few years, but if I'm to trust these new songs, Deep Purple have indeed aged with dignity. Fine songs!