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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Deep Purple

Purpendicular (Reissue)

Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue of Purpendicular includes two bonus tracks. I have to say, I’ve not heard this album before. I see a lot of comparisons to be made with the new album Now What?!. This has a lot of the progressive rock meets classic Deep Purple sound that really sells that one. For the most part, I don’t think this one is quite as successful. It’s still pretty darned good, though. I’d highly recommend this one. I’d just say that you should get the other one first.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic

“Vavoom” seems to be the little short introduction to this. The song proper is classic Deep Purple from the meaty riff that drives it to the trademark Ian Gillan vocal delivery, this is all class.

Loosen My Strings
Here we get more of a melodic Deep Purple tune. There are some hints of “light weight” music on this, but overall it feels pretty classic as far as I’m concerned. It has some cool riff driven guitar and some pretty trademark Gillanisms. Yes, it does lean toward an AOR prog sound at times, but that’s not a terrible thing. I really enjoy some of the jamming later on this piece.
Soon Forgotten
Theatrical and very progressive rock oriented, this is far from typical Deep Purple. That said, there’s a lot of meat here. It’s a classy piece that’s very intriguing. I actually like it quite a bit. There are some pretty amazing bits of musical interplay on this thing.
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Another that’s rather atypical for DP, this has a real mainstream rock sound to it. It starts balladic but works out to more rocking sounds after a while. It has some killer moments when it rocks out more, though.
Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover
There’s a short little proggy introduction here with some odd vocals. From there they launch out into a straightforward rocker that works pretty well. The extended instrumental section on this feels like trademark Deep Purple to me.
The Aviator
Although this is energized and rather proggy, it’s melodic. It’s not necessarily Deep Purple-like in a tradition sense. I’m not overly crazy about it, but it works pretty well.
Rosa's Cantina
The rhythm section and Ian Gillan’s vocals bring a Deep Purple grind to this. The rest of the music, though, doesn’t really fit with a traditional DP sound. I like the organ solo section a lot, though. In fact, I like the whole tune. It’s just not a tight fit into what you’d think of as Deep Purple music. The harmonica is a nice touch.
A Castle Full of Rascals
After a bit of an ambient introduction, they fire out into some trademark Deep Purple riff-driven rock. This is a real smoking hot number. That said, the mellow section mid-track is proggy and a bit unusual for the standard Deep Purple fare. The guitar solo later on in this piece just plain screams.
A Touch Away
More of a prog rock edge emerges as this one comes into being. The vocals are trademark Gillan, but in a lot of ways this feels more like something from his solo career than it does like Deep Purple. That said, this is a great song. It’s just a bit of a change from what a lot of Deep Purple fans probably expected.
Hey Cisco
Although there are some moments here that land more in that prog type of sound, there are also some killer riff driving sections. This is kind of a nice balance between the two textures represented on this disc.
Somebody Stole My Guitar
The guitar riff that opens this is really a winner. Gillan’s vocal line is classic, too. This is trademark Deep Purple in my book.
The Purpendicular Waltz
A bluesy harmonica opens this. Then the guitar brings in a slow moving hard edged riff driven sound. As it develops it becomes a pretty dynamic midtempo rocker that’s quite trademark Deep Purple. It’s a cool tune.
Don’t Hold Your Breath (Japan bonus track)
I love the organ sound on this thing and the whole cut really lands in traditional Deep Purple territory. It’s a powerhouse. It’s amazing to me that this is a bonus track. There are some hints of something like King’s X. Overall, I’d actually consider this one of the standout tunes here.
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming (single edit)
Here we get just what it says it is, a single edit of the earlier song.
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