|Deep Purple Bananas||EMI|
Deep Purple is back – but does anyone care anymore? Well, yes and no. It depends on your outlook. The band's releases still generate good publicity and their fair share of debate, while it's clear the glory days are gone, this new album proves there is still a little life left in the beast.|
The oddly titled Bananas is the band's third studio album with guitarist Steve Morse. The band's debut with him – Perpendicular – remains one of my favourite ever Purple albums and is highly regarded by just about everyone.
But the follow up Abandon really didn't move me and the gloss was removed from this incarnation of Purple, for which I was previously so impressed with.
Bananas is a far better and more enjoyable record, but maybe not quite good enough to return the band to the lofty status I had previously awarded them and I fear that might be the same feeling elsewhere.
Gillian sounds in fine form, as does the rest of the band – with new organ/keys man Don Airey in place – and the production is worthy.
So the only spot for any let down are the songs. The good thing is that there is nothing bad on the album, just a few tracks that don't inspire as they should and could be labeled predictable.
Highlights for me include the mid-tempo ballad Haunted, with female backing vocals accompanying the band; the darker and bluesier rock track Sun Goes Down; the organ drenched hard blues of Silver Tongue; the laid back 70's rock of Walk On; the Perpendicular styled Picture Of Innocence and the utterly wonderful (mostly instrumental) Never A Word.
Elsewhere on the album House Of Pain is a fairly predictable opening track; Razzel Dazzle is a bit lame; I've Got Your Number misses a memorable hook and Doing It Tonight doesn't really go anywhere and the last track – 90 seconds worth - isn't really needed.
Not classic and still not close to Perpendicular, but not bad at the same time.
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