Deep Purple – inFinite
Deep Purple has announced their “Long Goodbye Tour” and is back with a new album that also teases at endings, yet also loudly proclaims the return to the sound of the classic Mach II lineup.
The collective songs, as well as the individual output of each members make this one shine. In fact, there are moments on this album where the band rocks as hard as they ever did. Ian Gillan cusses, sings, snorts and chants throughout, making inFinite his best vocal performance in many years. Steve Morse and Don Airey sound so much like guys named Blackmore and Lord that the old school Purple-ites will be slobbering like a starving man at the entrance to a Vegas-style buffet. The rhythm section of Ian Paice and Roger Glover is a tight as ever, holding down the backend allowing the hysterics of soloing to go to the ends of the universe.
The opening two tracks are the best, hands down. “Time for Bedlam” is the best tune this lineup of Purple has ever recorded. “Hip Boots” is an odd sounding lyric, but the riff is so damn heavy that one really doesn’t care what Gillan is singing about. These two songs reek of classic Purple, and harken back to the days of Machine Head and In Rock. Yeah… I know that’s pretty bold of me to say... and I am not saying the entire album is Machine Head and In Rock, but there are moments of yesteryear glory. Suffice it to say these tunes are rock solid tracks. The other songs are strong as well. “All I Got is You” is moody, but Morse and Airey provide the musicality as Gillan adds an almost jazzy vocal. “One Night in Vegas” continues the heavy riffage. “Get Me Outta Here” features a snappy snare beat, tons of keyboards and a tasty guitar solo… who could ask for more from a Deep Purple song? This is a strong track, musically. Morse rips a tasty blues laden solo.
The bonus track “Uncommon Man (Instrumental Version)” is one of the best songs this lineup has done. Gillan gets no words but the band rips through a very hard rock meets prog song that will impress anyone who hears it. This, honestly, could have been featured on the next Steve Morse solo project. The DP meets SM makes this one a standout display of classic rock musicianship. The album is good deep into the track listing as the song “Bird of Prey” is another strong rocker that swoons between many musical attitudes. The band also remade the Doors classic “Roadhouse Blues.” This one sounds tastier than it is, however. It is a good rendition but probably done more for fun and novelty than for anything else.
At the end of the day the band did a great job on this album. While Deep Purple will never be able to outdo their greatest musical moments, this release adds several more to their already overflowing catalog of classics.
It is the best studio effort by the current lineup. The big question is, “Is this the last studio album by Deep Purple?” The name of the album makes one wonder. Ian Gillian sums it up and still leaves us wondering by stating:
“If you take it literally you may, quite reasonably, think the ‘Finite’ part of the word describes the life of deep Purple, with a clear beginning and a nebulous end; but what of the ‘in’ bit? The word infinite is a three-dimensional double-edged sword. It describes something that goes on forever in all directions; not unlike its temporal equivalent ‘Eternal.’ What’s that all about? Stephen Hawking declared (in ‘A Brief History of Time’) that, before the Big Bang there was nothing. That would put the kybosh on the idea of our universe being infinite, as he provides a starting point, which is not acceptable to the concept. So, Hawking’s universe is ‘Finite’; by definition; whether he agrees or not. Ironically, he is quite wrong (scientists always are eventually), therefore the Universe is infinite, which means it will never end, and also means that it never started, and the corollary to that of course is that we don’t exist. There is a metaphysical solution to all this, but it will have to wait until the tour is over because (thank heavens) there are only 24 hours in a day (for the time being) or 10 hours in a metric day. More on that later…”
Sounds like someone has been hitting the medicinal marijuana!
The CD/DVD version comes with an in-depth documentary that is truly spellbinding. Deep Purple allows the cameras to roll during the writing, rehearsing and recording of the album. Each member shines in this setting and producer Bob Ezrin shows how production should be done. There are very interesting interviews with each member. This kind of footage is usually never allowed. This shows one of rock’s greatest bands at every stage of the creative process and makes this tremendous release even more amazing.
After 50 years no one could fault the band for hanging it all up… but with an album this solid one can only hope they can keep going!
"Time for Bedlam" – 4:35
"Hip Boots" – 3:23
"All I Got Is You" – 4:42
"One Night in Vegas" – 3:23
"Get Me Outta Here" – 3:58
"The Surprising" – 5:57
"Johnny's Band" – 3:51
"On Top of the World" – 4:01
"Birds of Prey" – 5:47
"Roadhouse Blues" – 6:00 (The Doors cover)
"Paradise Bar" – 4:10
"Uncommon Man" – 6:58 (instrumental version)
"Hip Boots" – 4:00 (rehearsal, Ian Paice recording)
"Strange Kind of Woman" – 5:46 (Live in Aalborg)
By Jeb “Where are MY hip boots” Wright