And now what? After eight long years Deep Purple manage to release a new album. Is this an accomplishment? Is this going to be their last album ever?
Let’s start from its basic features. It’s a rather prog album with most of its songs on a medium or slow tempo. Steve Morse’s role is quite descript, while Don Airey sounds like he’s taken extra authorities. It’s a decent album from a band that is going to reach its 50th anniversary soon, and it was undoubtedly condemned not to leave its mark, and how could it actually? Its weakness, is one of the most important thing in an album in general… it’s what makes an album great, or indifferent… the compositions!
Yes, the album’s sound is good and Bob Ezrin’s job great, but most of the songs are weak and quite frankly it doesn’t remind you of Deep Purple… there is experimentation, originality, ideas, but all of them fail to save the day. “Now What?!” gives the impression of a band that is confused, staggering from one direction to the other without self esteem, or confidence. Maybe that’s because of Gillan’s weakness to reach the high notes of his glorious past, resulting to the band looking for alternatives.
Of course, an album like “Now What?!” can’t take anything away from the legendary band’s majesty, which is granted and celebrated. At least, it shows that there is still some apettite for making something new, and creativity, and most importantly –something that have always been a Purple characteristic- there are no limits. I am not sure if I’d like another Deep Purple, if that’s not their last one. I know that it’s unfair to judge Deep Purple according to their ‘70s, or even ‘80s heydays, but on the other hand the expectations from a behemoth of rock like them are of an equal size every time, no matter how many years might have passed, and whatever the lineup. Still, I admire them for their passion, and their strength at this age to continue doing what they like most, and I will definitely go see them live every time they are around!