Rapture of the Deep review
"Rapture of the Deep" is the state of consciousness I have been experiencing for several weeks now and after hundreds of dives :) I can safely say we have a classic Purple album on our hands. This is the best studio effort by the band since Perfect Strangers.
Why do I think the album is so good?
1) It is very well produced. The record has a live feel to it - the band play spontaneously, in the same way they played on Perfect Strangers record. It has more organ sound which I missed on Abandon and Purpendicular.
2) It is very well played, especially by Steve Morse and Don Airey. Never before have I heard so many good guitar-organ duels and solos
3) It contains no fillers and has plenty of memorable songs. I love 9 out of 11 songs, I like the other two. Of course not all of them seem to be as immediate as the title track or Clearly Quite Absurd, but if you give them a chance, they will grow on you - even the songs like Don't Let Go, Back to Back are potential classic Purple songs. Talking about classic Purple songs, we have plenty of these:
Rapture of the Deep - Perfect Strangers of Steve Morse era. Full stop.
Clearly Quite Absurd - simply stunning. Best Purple ballad for years. It is not only about the melody and Ian's gentle vocals, it is also about the lyrics and the Airey - Morse playing towards the end of the song.
Before Time Began - some progressive hard rock. Shame they would never record the whole album in this vein. One of the best tracks in the whole history of Deep Purple.
Junkyard Blues - just listen to the solos. Breathtaking.
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye - a great rocker, great playing from Ian Paice.
MTV - fantastic singing by Gillan, fantastic lyrics, and very good solos.
Of course "Rapture of the Deep" is not going to be regarded as a milestone record. It won't revolutionize contemporary rock scene either. Simply because Deep Purple have no ambition to do so. The band play classic rock and roll which is different from the youthful rock they played when they were 20/30 years old. They play mature music of the highest quality. And thank God they do so. For as we need good classical music, good classic jazz or blues, we also need good old rock and roll.
All in all, a great album.
Congratulations guys. At last!