Review: Deep Purple WHOOSH

Produced by Bob Ezrin

“Throw My Bones,” the first single off of Deep Purple’s 21st album, Whoosh, is classic DP and as you dig deep into Whoosh you’ll find the band delivering an amazingly consistent set of material. Song after song you feel youthful energy from the classic rockers, and a polish that gives the album the feel of a major onstage production. Had this been released at the end of the ’70s it would have been a multi-platinum monster.

Take a random track, the still-photo images of “Man Alive” (which can serve as a title track with the word “whoosh” instilled in the grooves at around the five-minute mark.) 1,544,262 views since May 1, 2020 – let me spell that out for you – One Million Five Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty Two views from 5/1 to 10/14, when I’m finally finishing up this review, five months later. The album impressed me the moment I started the hearing process, but months later it is truly majestic and masterful.

“And the Address” is sublime with a big Don Airey organ sound coming out of my right speaker, rugged Steve Morse guitar in the left…which is interesting because this update from Shades of Deep Purple, their first sojourn, gives a taste of life after Richie Blackmore and the late Jon Lord on guitar and keys, respectively. For those hardcore fans, of which there are many, who are about to throw exclamation marks at me for having the nerve to explain instrumentation keep in mind, many of our readers don’t follow the groups like the rest of us obsessive/compulsive collectors do. The inclusion of the Ezrin-produced “And the Address” is actually key for longtime followers of this ensemble. From album 1 to album 21 we get to compare notes…a quite enjoyable thing to do as both renditions are superb – and get a feel for how the group still has its essential element from the Tetragrammaton days in 1968 to the brave new world of 2020…dare I say it, fifty-two years after! With drummer Ian Paice as the “sole survivor,” to quote the Stones.

The original “And the Address” launches like some space-age rock tune, with a splash of their “Hush” hit record sound, and bits of Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes and even a dash of Sky Saxon’s Seeds flavored in their slyly. So you fast forward these five-plus decades and get the Ezrin produced take, the enormous sounds condensed and less experimental, more like a straight-ahead display of musicianship in the fun environment of a very well constructed instrumental.

“Dancing in My Sleep” changes style…and it is this quasi-reinvention of Purple …not too distant from their core sound, but being playful with their enormous fan base and stretching the Deep Purple envelope. It starts out spacey and goes orchestral, all within the confines of hard rock. Not that this is new territory for the boys, they just do it in a more pointed way this time around.

“No Need to Shout” opens with an Ozzy Osborne flair, a mix of Purple/Ozzy sensibilities.

We interrupt this review to give you some background information on “And the Address”
“And the Address” from Shades of Deep Purple

Associated Performer, Vocalist, Organ: Jon Lord Associated Performer, Vocalist, Bass Guitar: Nick Simper Associated Performer, Guitar: Ritchie Blackmore Associated Performer, Drums: Ian Paice Studio Personnel, Engineer: Barry Ainsworth Producer: Derek Lawrence Studio Personnel, Mastering Engineer: Peter Mew

“The Power of the Moon” and “Remission Possible” give the album the science fiction rock theme that the cover art promises, but make no mistake, this is not your daddy’s King Crimson or early Pink Floyd, this is Purple creating an outer space passion play of sorts. With Bob Ezrin at the helm you might think Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Lou Reed’s Berlin, or perhaps Welcome to My Nightmare and you’d be spot on. This being Bob Ezrin’s third project with Deep Purple, you can put it on the bookshelf next to the aforementioned Alice, Lou and Floyd classics. It more than makes the grade.

From the publicist:
Whoosh! marks Deep Purple’s third album produced by Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd). The first — 2013’s Now What?! — charted at #1 in five European countries, as well as Top 10 in over 15 countries worldwide. Cementing itself as one of their most successful albums, inFinite, released in 2017, broke chart records the band accumulated over their 50+year history. With chemistry this electric, it only made sense for Deep Purple and Ezrin to collaborate a third time.