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Deep Purple - 'Infinite' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c1/a1/cd/deep-purple-infinite-47-1494792010.jpg Hot

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Deep Purple haven't disappointed with another masterclass of performance art.

Another brand new album from Deep Purple and there's no sign of a drop in quality. There will always be arguments about never being able to match the Mk II line-up by some diehards, but equally others recognise that Purple are producing some of their finest music to date. Many will attest to their last record being a prime example of consummate musicianship, clever arrangements, classy lyrics and timeless music. 'Now What?!' was indeed a masterclass of performance art and it begged the question in its very own title.

Four years later, the Purps have given us the answer with 'InFinite' (with the cover depicting the infinity symbol and the stylised title 'InFinite' quite likely an Ian Gillan play-on-words). After all, the latest tour is called 'The Long Goodbye', perhaps reflecting their intention to call it a day in the very near future.

Purple still have the same stable line-up that's been together since Don Airey replaced the ailing master Jon Lord, with his blessing, on the fabulous Hammond Organ for 2003's 'Bananas'. Fifteen years later they're still going strong, although Steve Morse remains the "baby" at the ripe old age of sixty-two!

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'Time For Bedlam' was released on YouTube and Spotify in December so many may well be familiar with its up-tempo, spunky Rocking flavour that contains all the DP elements in spades, as does the whole album. There's Gillan's masterful storytelling and vocal tone and phrasing, classic Lord-inspired Hammond from Airey and exquisite Rock, Funk and Jazz rhythms from Roger Glover and Ian Paice. This perfect picture is completed by Morse's wonderful tone and harmonics that give a nod to Ritchie Blackmore's steamy Blues-infused Classical calibre technique, melodic invention and his relatively unique wide-finger vibrato, whilst interweaving his own more pentatonic Blues-Rock-Country vocabularies and Classical and Baroque style.

From the swagger of 'Hip Boots' and the raucous 'All I Got Is You' to the eerie, melancholic 'The Surprising' and the Country Blues of 'Roadhouse Blues', 'InFinite' offers a wonderfully diverse and eclectic palette to satiate fans whilst offering invention and technique to musicians.

There is a whole new younger generation getting into Purple these days that were not brought up on the Mk II age – indeed it's been more than twenty years since Blackmore was in DP – therefore they're totally sold on the Morse era. With this, their twentieth career studio release, Deep Purple haven't disappointed with another masterclass of performance art.

Carl Buxton

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