More than 40 years ago Deep Purple first formed in Hertfordshire, England. Throughout the band’s life, it would see — like so many bands – its own share of highs and lows. Through it all, the band has managed to release some 20 albums, remaining one of the rock community’s most influential names along the way thanks to that body of work. The latest of those 20 albums, Infinite, saw its release worldwide early this past April via earMusic. It is yet more proof of why Deep Purple remains so influential almost half a century (if the band doesn’t disband, 2018 would mark its 50th year) into its life. That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the record’s 10 song, nearly 46-minute record. Those arrangements will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes presented throughout the record are just as important to note as the album’s musical arrangements and will be discussed later. The bonus 90-minute “making of” featurette included in the album’s extended edition is also key in showing why Deep Purple is still such an influential band. Each element is critical in its own right to Infinite’s overall presentation. Each element serves in its own way why this album is more proof of Deep Purple’s influence. All things considered, this record shows without a doubt why Deep Purple remains an important part of the rock community and why it in itself is one of this year’s top new rock records.
Deep Purple’s latest full-length studio recording Infinite is a work that shows over its 10-song, 45-minute-plus run time why the band remains one of rock’s most influential acts almost 50 years after its formation. It also shows itself to be one of this year’s top new rock albums. That is due in no small part to the varied musical arrangements presented across that body. From beginning to end, the band keeps things fresh for its audiences. Case in point is the contrast of the sounds in the album’s first two songs, ‘Time For Bedlam’ and ‘Hip Boots.’ The prior crosses Deep Purple’s progressive and hard rock roots together into one arrangement for a work that grows on listeners more with each listen. The latter is more of a straight forward, radio-ready rock arrangement that, much like ‘Johnny’s Band’ takes listeners back to Deep Purple’s earliest days. The album’s latest single, ‘The Surprising,’ is another example of why the album’s musical variety is so important to its whole. Its arrangement is full on progressive rock. ‘On Top of the World,’ by comparison, is a solid, infectious blues-based arrangement that is just as entertaining as its counterparts. Between the variations in the arrangements noted here and those of the album’s other featured arrangements, those variations keep Infinite fully engaging and entertaining on their own. Of course as much as the arrangements do to ensure listeners’ continued engagement in this record, they are only one of the album’s elements that ensures that engagement. The album’s lyrical themes are just as varied as its musical arrangements.
The lyrical content presented throughout Infinite are just as varied as the record’s musical arrangements. The band even pointed that out through a series of videos explaining the songs ahead of the album’s release. Those videos are available now online via YouTube. The album starts off with a seeming socio-political commentary of sorts in ‘Time For Bedlam.’ That is inferred as front man Ian Gillan sings here “Right from the ashes of life I learned to behave/What to believe/What not to say from cradle to grave/Ah…like a good little slave/Sucking my milk from the venomous tit of the state/Clearly designed to suppress every thought of escape/Ah…I surrender to fate.” He continues in similar fashion in the song’s third verse and the song’s chorus, serving even more to create a picture seemingly of the noted statement. On a completely different wing, the album also presents at least one song centered on the familiar topic of broken relationships in ‘All I Got Is You.’ The album also features a polar opposite to that song late in the album’s run in ‘On Top of the World,’ which Gillan noted himself in one of the noted YouTube videos, was about a wild night in a hotel. ‘Hip Boots,’ the album’s second song, presents its own notable lyrical theme that seems rather happily defiant about something. It goes without saying that considering the variety of themes presented in the noted songs and the songs not noted here, this record presents just as much lyrical diversity as it does musical diversity. Keeping this in mind, that lyrical diversity is still not the last of the record’s most important elements. Its bonus content rounds out its most important elements.
The bonus DVD that comes with Infinite’s extended edition shows in its own right what makes the album so enjoyable (and the band still so influential) because it isn’t just another run-of-the-mill guerilla style “making of” featurette. It is a full 90-minute program, narrated by Yes’ own Rick Wakeman, that feels like a news report than just some off-the-cuff poorly recorded piece that so many of its counterparts prove to be. Audiences are taken into the band’s recording session with Producer Bob Ezrin to see firsthand how the album came together. Audiences will be wowed to see the civility and respect between Ezrin and the band members throughout the album’s creative process. Watching Ezrin at work with the band is like watching a maestro at work with a group of ace musicians, offering constructive criticism versus the criticism that he could have otherwise offered. It is such a breath of fresh air for a “making of” documentary to present such a distinguished experience. That experience in turn gives even more respect, going full circle here, for the music presented throughout this album. It also creates new respect for the band in whole because of that clear respect that its members have for one another, for Ezrin and that he has for them. Keeping that in mind, while the bonus material included with this album may not seem like much on the surface, it is in fact a very valuable addition to the album, showing even more why Deep Purple remains almost 50 years after its founding one of the rock community’s most respected and revered acts today. When this is considered along with the impact brought by the variety in the album’s musical and lyrical content, it becomes that much clearer why the band remains so respected and why this album is one of the year’s most respected rock records.
Deep Purple’s latest full-length studio recording Infinite is one of this year’s most valuable rock records. Regardless of whether or not it is the band’s last studio album, it can be said easily that it is even more proof of why Deep Purple is one of the rock community’s most respected acts today even almost 50 years after its founding. That is proven through the musical and lyrical variety presented throughout the album and the in-depth bonus material included in the record’s companion DVD. Each element is important in its own way in supporting those statements. All things considered, they prove without doubt that this is a record that every Deep Purple fan should own, the band’s last album or not. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Infinite is available online now along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:
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