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CD Reviews: Review of Rapture of the Deep by Deep Purple
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Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Deep Purple: Rapture of the Deep (Eagle 2005)

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Deep Purple has had more lineups then the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had guitarists. When you’ve been making records since 1968, I suppose a few folks are going to pass through, like David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner, to name a few. The current incarnation consists of longtime vocalist Ian Gillan, former Dixie Dregs/Kansas guitarist Steve Morse, ex-Rainbow keyboardist Don Airey, bassist Roger Glover, and drummer Ian Paice, the only constant member throughout. Founding member Richie Blackmore hasn’t played with Purple since 1992’s The Battle Rages On, and although not easy shoes to fill, Morse has done a nice job of honoring the Purple sound while simultaneously placing his own signature on the material.

Rapture begins with “Money Talks to Me” which features some crunchy and tasty guitar work complimented by some Hammond wizardry from Airey that would make retired keyboardist Jon Lord smile. Tracks like “Money Talks,” along with “Wrong Man,” honor that traditional Deep Purple sound of keyboards and guitar providing the power while Gillian’s familiar voice delivers the vocals. “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” and “MTV” features those two instruments trading solos like Blackmore and Lord in their prime. Morse’s bluesy style and delivery is perfect for the material, and is reminiscent of Blackmore without being an imitation of him. The ballad “Clearly Quite Absurd” is a bit out of character, but well done.

Gillan’s voice does not quite have the pop it once had, and he sounds close to the edge of his vocal range in most songs. However, the musicianship, not the vocals, has always been the star in Purple, regardless of what personnel was involved, and in this, their second full effort together (2003’s Bananas was their first), Airey, Glover, Morse and Paice have come together quite nicely.

Rapture of the Deep not a great album, but you have to tip your cap to a band that is still making decent music some 37 years into their career. It is a solid listen that will grow on you as you give it several spins.

~R. David Smola 


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