With nearly 50 years on the clock and a currently ongoing tour entitled ‘The Long Goodbye Tour’, it is looking like Deep Purple will finally be calling time on their long and illustrious career. Alongside this, they have released their twentieth album InFinite (earMUSIC), made like its predecessor Now What?! in Nashville under the watchful eye of iconic producer Bob Ezrin (who has also worked with Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith and Kiss). If this does end up being their last record, will it be a swansong befitting their stature?
Most definitely, yes. Since 2013 they have been in somewhat of a purple patch (ahem) and InFinite carries on where the great ‘comeback’ album Now What?! left off. Namely all the classic Purple elements – Prog, Blues and Funk – all consummately wrought together under the guise of Rock. ‘Hip Boots’ and ‘One Night in Vegas’ are infectiously upbeat bluesy rockers, foot tapping dynamos with a great sense of fun, especially the latter; the lively honky-tonk piano helps tells the tale of how a drunken night in Vegas ended up in a successful thirty-year marriage. ‘Johnny’s Band’ is another lively rocker full of joie de vivre, with short, sharp and sweet keyboard and guitar solos respectively squeezed out by Don Airey and Steve Morse.
Their progressive inclinations are still alive and well, ‘The Surprising’ holding centre stage here. A sombre and introverted intro soon swells into a dramatic number with many musical and tempo changes weaved together, with particularly powerful drumming provided as ever by Ian Paice. Fitting alongside this is ‘Birds of Prey’ which is in classic Purple territory, a mini rock opera with a symphonic feel and many orchestral flourishes provided by keys and guitars alike.
Topped off by a decent if rather too faithful cover of ‘Roadhouse Blues’, InFinite is a dynamic rock album worthy of praise and every Purple fan’s time. Seeing as it debuted at number 6 in the UK charts, it seems you agree!