Whoosh! by Deep Purple [6/10]

Whoosh!” is a whoosh indeed, a synthesis by a revered band in their 70s of a musical genre they helped invent. It’s always been tempting to equate Deep Purple with Ian Gillan, the Purple vocalist with the screamingest, purest, most expressive voice of them all, and on this, their 21st album, he is in classic (if no longer screamy) form. But really, the heart of the band is the drum/bass combo of Ian Paice and Roger Glover, and they pound out thirteen varied yet unmistakable heavy metal/psych/boogie songs. Throw in eclectic keyboardist Don Airey and super guitar noodler Steve Morse, and you find that every track, even the more stock standard tunes, jumps out of the gate and delivers. They sound just like the show I went to in Festival Hall in Melbourne in the early 70s and while that seems ossified, it is also a source of comfort. Standout tracks are the chugging, raging “The Long Way Round”; the band interplay, straight out of the 1960s, and the easy majesty of Gillan’s vocals on “Nothing at All”; and the echoes of Gillan’s vocal harshness on his attack on politicians, “No Need to Shout.” Whoosh! is not for you, young music fan, but it’s plenty solid and fine.

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