Monday, November 03, 2008

Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are

The final studio album released by Deep Purple Mach II (Gillian/Glover edition) is remarkably consistent, considering that the band was about to break up. Coming after 3 progressively more successful albums (In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head), WDWTWA was not as big of a smash as the previous release, but still had a terrific single and it is very strong, overall.

Opening with “Woman From Tokyo”, this album’s hit, the group proves that they are still writing amazing songs and are working together as well as ever! This is a wonderful hard rock/pop tune – melodic, catchy as hell and still very rockin’! You would never know that the band was on its last legs. Ian Paice drives the song with his snare snaps (he is one of the most under-rated drummers in r'n'r - just amazing!) and the rest of the band creates a huge chord riff – super memorable hard rock!

“Mary Long” is about as political as the band ever got, with Gillian ranting about a conservative British politician who hated rock’n’roll. “How did you lose your virginity, Mary Long? When will you lose your stupidity, Mary Long?” Pretty succinct!

Similar in feel to the previous album’s “Maybe I’m a Leo” (though more energetic) is “Super Trouper” – good, heavy riff-rock! They move into high-octane r’n’r for “Smooth Dancer” – fast and wild, this one reminding me a bit of “Fireball”. Damn near frantic, but still maintaining their sense of melody and including a great organ solo by Jon Lord!

Another fine example of heavy metal riff-rock is “Rat Back Blue”. This has a very hip, funky groove and cool interplay between Lord and guitar maestro Blackmore. Killer keyboard solo again on this one! The band creates their version of heavy blues in “Place in Line”. Far from classic blues, but definitely that feel as they jump into different tempos throughout the song while letting Blackmore strut his stuff.

Closing with a moodier, slow-ish number, “Our Lady”, they still emphasize the heaviness but continue to make sure that there is a “song” there. This one is borderline poppy! Good stuff!

Maybe not quite as great as Machine Head, but damn close!