earMUSIC [Release date 07.04.17]
2013′s ‘Now What?!’ found Deep Purple in rude good form and backed up by a well received UK tour. With more UK dates in November 2017, inFinite doesn’t quite match the sheer audacity of that album which was aligned historically with a more overtly commercial album like ‘Perfect Strangers’. inFinite is, though, sure to appeal more to lovers of the early 1970s incarnation.
Part of the problem with this album are the lyrics and the subject matter . It’s left to Don Airey and the redoubtable Steve Morse to inject some sense of purpose to the proceedings. It seems that in his dotage Gillan has bowed to the observational, the conversational, and the occasional expletive deleted (‘Get Me Outta Here’, ‘Johnny’s Band’, ‘On Top Of The World’) . There’s no hollering here, just a sense of advancing years and a whiff of the golf course.
The best tracks really appear on the two EPs that trailed the album and arguably those are better packages in their own right as they come with bonus non-album tracks. ‘Time For Bedlam’ and ‘Hip Boots’ are classic if somewhat perfunctory Purple, the latter lifted by Morse and Airey’s solos. “All I Got Is You’ is probably the album’s best five minutes along with ‘On Top Of The World’.
‘One Night In Vegas’ is a bluesy shuffle whilst ‘The Surprising’ recalls Mike & The Mechanics’ ‘Another Cup Of Coffee’ and therefore is hardly, er, surprising. ‘Birds Of Prey’ adopts a different, almost proggy, approach that may have served this album better overall but the inclusion of ‘Roadhouse Blues’ seems to be mere filler and, in context, somewhat incongruous.
‘Now What?!’ was a fantastic return after a gap of eight years and ‘inFinite’ fails to capitalise on that album’s promise. The forthcoming tour is billed as “The Long Goodbye”: it would be a great shame if the band bow out on an album that belies its title. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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