www.firegoat.com » Reviews » Deep Purple
  Guest: Login | Sign up Slovenska verzija - Slovene version
Deep Purple - "Bananas"
EMI Records 2003

Giants of rock strike back. "Bananas" is a direct proof that maestro Don Airey's arrival after Jon Lord's departure was an excellent choice for the band.

I hate to do that (especially in Deep Purple's case) but anyway I am forced to compare some segments of Purple's past and present musical face. Don's work on keyboards really refreshes the whole band's expression. On "Purpendicular" (1996) and "Abandon" (1998) Steve was covering larger soloing space than Jon. I hardly found keys and guitar solos playing equal roles on both those records. This equilibrium was something usual in Blackmore's seventies era. With having Don in band, Deep Purple discovered again that secret formula and used it on a very successful way. For all those who are probably unfamiliar with name Don Airey (ex-Rainbow and...oh too many) let me assure you he can easily cover Lord's stuff.

As I already mentioned, Don and Steve's solos are sharing equal roles. We can enjoy pure magic of Hammond C3 organ, moog and/or grand piano manifestation, rebirth of traditional soloing duels between Hammond C3 organ and guitar (especially in title track!). Steve and Don are also equally involved in bridges with adding well known unique "purplish" ornaments, not to mention resurrected Ian's strong vocal lines that again reminds on band's younger days. Maybe that's why you'll fell in love with "Bananas" so easily. Its overall feel brings seventies back to life. Main riffs captures band's traditional hard rocking flavor (opener House Of A Pain, Razzle Dazzle, Silver Tongue, I Got Your Number). But to say that this is a better album than previous two aforementioned efforts would be a real stupidity. "Bananas" catches just another stage of band's constant evolution. It is not better, it is not worse. It is an equal younger brother to all Purple's albums. And once again, it is an excellent effort. It sounds convincible alive and my presumption is, that new album was laid down very fast on a final tape.

House Of Pain, a straight hard rocker kicks like a mule with "drumming" Ian who adds some interesting cow bells into sound. Feel the adrenaline rush! Ambient soon changes into more obscured feel in following Sun Goes Down (not a Thin Lizzy cover!). Haunted is phenomenal mid tempo acoustic song that draws a slight connection with When A Blind Man Cries, yet it is far less pathetic with no suicidal tendencies included in lyrics. Lyrics prove that "singing" Ian and the rest of gang are still hot for taking any action. Their lives are still (mostly) troubled with all sorts of women. Other "purple" words reveal that this world has gone bananas! I fully agree with you guys. Walk On with short but spine tingling guitar solo captures bluesy feel and that concerns also for Picture Of Innocence in it's pre-chorus opening theme (Steve's intro has some Lazy flavor). I like rhythm line here, especially Ian's jazzy drumming in pre-chorus. Band develops amazing ambient feel in this song, especially when they explode with heavy riffing drive in mid eight and later on in chorus. Song delivers another tornado experience between Hammond and guitar solos in traditional Deep Purple fashion. "Bananas" is fluid album and full of dynamicity, with 11 diverse pieces plus Steve's instrumental closing outro theme Contact Lost. It is done gutsy all the way. Rocking piece I Got Your Number is another track that will make you wanna twist, yet with great Steve's middle Celtic bridge that opens the gates for band to enter another crazy jamming. Song is full of different moods. Never A Word is beautiful ballad. Steve figures out impressive acoustic theme, while the rest of band gently joins in and builds high atmosphere. I must point out subtle voice of Ian here and back vocals that remind slightly on what Simon and Garfunkel duo. And title song with tasty harmonica addition, will simply blow your heads off! Don's work is brilliantly pierced and counter weighted with rhythm line. Airey's lines iin title song remind now and then slightly on Keith Emerson's Tarkus (E.L.P.) specialties.

I think this will be enough. New Deep Purple record is cutting through concrete like hell. No shit, but after all these years, Deep Purple still radiates much more shivering energy than many of present "one day job" trendy stuffs. You get a lot of (true and sincere) music for the money you spend. This is very hard to find in the presence of living in a world that went bananas! Deep Purple are standing strong and proud with unquenchable lust of being surrounded by eternal power of light. And they've reached it again. Roger& co., thank you for another amazing experience!

Author:   Aleš

Content of this page is copyright of www.krokar.net and firegoat team.
All rights reserved. © 2000-2002