‘inFinite’ Will Live Infinitely As One Of Deep Purple’s Best Works

Courtesy: earMusic

Christmas has officially come and gone.  So has Hanukkah.  The presents have been opened and decorations likely have started being put away.  Even despite that, Phil’s Picks still has some gifts of sorts for everyone out there in the form of some more year-ender lists.  Considering that time is so tight, some of the lists, it turns out, might have to be ignored in favor of some others.  One of the lists that definitely will not be ignored before the year lets out is that of the year’s top new rock records.

The titles included in this list are separate from the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  Phil’s Picks has a list of those albums on the way. Before getting to that list though, the focus here will be on the year’s top new rock records.  Topping the list of this year’s best new rock records from this critic is Deep Purple’s latest (and likely last) full-length studio recording InFinite.  The album was just recently re-issued with the band’s latest live recording The inFinite Live Recordings Vol. 1 only months after the album’s original release.  The record’s oftentimes blues-based rock arrangements show this band is at the top of its game, even as it seemingly winds down its life.  The lyrical themes exhibited throughout the album are just as interesting as its musical arrangements.  It is definitely a memorable recording that deserves every accolade.

Also on this critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is Foo Fighters’ latest effort Concrete and Gold.  This record is more proof of the band’s willingness to try new things and grow on each album and the success that can and does come with that willingness to branch out, rather than churn out the same thing time and again.  It’s just one more of the albums on the list this year.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from Scale The Summit, Prophets of Rage, John 5 & The Creatures and a number of others.  As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 best new albums in its category plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Now with all of that having been said, presented here is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Deep Purple — inFinite
  2. Foo Fighters — Concrete & Gold
  3. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  4. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  5. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  8. Fozzy — Judas
  9. Hell or Highwater — Vista
  10. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  11. At The Wayside — The Breakdown and The Fall
  12. Leprous — Malina
  13. Royal Blood — How Did We Get So Dark?
  14. Warrant — Louder, Faster, Harder
  15. Horisont — About Time

That’s all for this list.  It is not the last list, though.  There are still lists for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, the year’s top new albums and select DVD/BD lists.  As many lists as possible will be posted up from here on out, so stay tuned for all that and more.

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‘Give Up The Ghost’ Is A Solid Start For Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights

 

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

A little more than a month ago, a little band by the name of Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights released its debut EP Give Up The Ghost. The five track record is the type of presentation that shows how easily today’s unsigned band could be tomorrow’s next big mainstream hit.  It shows this through the diversity in its musical arrangements and the depth of its collective lyrical content.  From the infectious southern rock riffs and happy-go-lucky lyrics of ‘Hollywood’ to the Foo Fighters-esque arrangement and equally playful lyrics of ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ to the Jimmy Eat World style arrangement and thoughtful lyrics of ‘Burn It Down’ and beyond, this record is a solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It is a record that leaves listeners hoping this band won’t give up the ghost any time soon.

Paul Johnson & The About Last Night’s debut EP Give Up The Ghost is a strong start for the Mississippi-based unsigned rock outfit.  That is due to the solid mix of musical genres on which the band touches over the course of the record’s five-song, 18-minute run and its lyrical content.  The record’s penultimate song ‘Hollywood’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement is easily likened to arrangements composed by Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, The Black Crowes and other similar acts.  Band namesake and vocalist Paul Johnson even conjures thoughts of Buckcherry front man Josh Todd (at least in this critic’s ears) through his vocal delivery here.  When that is set alongside the amalgam of musical influences evident in the song’s arrangement, it makes the arrangement instantly infectious and certain to be a fan favorite.

The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it notable.  Its lyrical content, like its musical arrangement also conjures thoughts of the aforementioned acts and will put a smile on any listener’s face with its tribute to all of the things that make the south great.  That tribute is evident as Johnson sings, “You know I like to see my toes in the sand/You couldn’t drag me away from Dixieland/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood/Keep me in the south where the weather is good/Southern girls doin’ like they should/Don’t take me/Don’t take me to Hollywood.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I always see how they like to put us down/Don’t really care for the big town/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood.”  Plain and simple, this is a tribute to the band’s home state and region, being that the band is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  That upbeat, playful tribute, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes the song in whole one of the record’s best offerings if not its best.  Collectively, they make this song a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost such a standout offering and solid start from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It is only one of the songs that serves to support these statements.  ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another song that shows why this record stands out.

‘Hollywood’ with its simple title, lyrical content and musical approach is a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost a solid first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It musical arrangement and lyrical alike are both so infectious thanks to their simplicity.  As impressive as it is, it is only one of the songs included in this record that makes the EP stand out.  ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another example of what makes this record worth hearing.  As with ‘Hollywood,’ that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The alignment of the song’s guitar and keyboards couples with Johnson’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Foo Fighters.  Drummer Zach Lewis’ time keeping adds to that comparison even more.  From start to finish, the song’s arrangement easily keeps listeners engaged.  It is only one part of what makes the song so enjoyable.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

Unlike the lyrical theme presented in ‘Hollywood,’ this song’s lyrical theme clearly centers on a woman.  That is inferred easily in the song’s chorus in which Johnson and his band mates sing, “She’s in love/With a fast car/Burn out…./She’s a new American story…little worry.  Deciphering the full extent of the words is difficult without lyrics to which one can refer.  However, between this and other elements that can be deciphered, it becomes clear that Johnson and company are singing about a woman.  That is especially certified in the song’s final moments as the band sings in unison, “She keeps my fantasies alive”  All things considered it is clear that the band is paying tribute to a woman or a certain type of woman.  It stands completely apart from the theme of ‘Hollywood’ and the rest of the record’s songs, and is just as upbeat as those other themes.  Keeping that in mind, when this tribute is set alongside the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the pairing makes the song in whole stand solidly on its own merits; merits that make the song yet another example of what makes the EP such a surprise.  It is not the last of the songs that stands out on the record either.  ‘Burn It Down’ is notable, too.

‘Hollywood’ and ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ both show in their own way that Give Up The Ghost is one of this year’s top new EPs.  The songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes stand out from one another just as much as they do the record’s other featured songs.  As much as they stand out, they are not its only key compositions.  ‘Burn It Down’ is one more of the record’s key songs.  As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  This time around, listeners minds will go to Jimmy Eat World in listening to this arrangement right from the song’s outset.  This critic easily could be wrong, but the song’s lyrical content seems like a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That is inferred as Johnson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I dropped out of school to find my way/A dirty kid in football games/A loser on the street/Had a hunger for the underneath/A family divorced too much to bear/The misinformed will meet you there/Like the liars and the delphines/Is there nothing left for a kid to believe…the pain of knowing I may never feel better off than where I started.”  The story continues in the song’s second verse and ends with a mention of a “21-gun salute to disobey” in the finale.  The song’s chorus, in which the song’s subject seemingly looks back on the past in another way, adds even more depth to the song.  When this is all considered along with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes fully clear why this song stands out.  Collectively, the depth of that musical and lyrical content—and its distinct identity separate from ‘Hollywood,’ ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ and the record’s other two songs—shows even more why the EP in whole stands out, too.  When it is joined with all of the EP’s other offerings, the record in whole proves, once more, why it is one of this year’s top new EPs, an equally solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights, and a record that will leave listeners hoping the band won’t “give up the ghost” anytime soon.

Give Up The Ghost is a surprisingly impressive first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  The record only spans five songs and 18-minutes, but in that run, the record exhibits great musical and lyrical diversity.  From start to finish, each song presents its own identity, separate from its counterparts.  From fun-loving to truly in-depth, the songs present a wide range of emotions in both music and lyrics.  All things considered, the record proves to be one of the year’s best new EPs, and gives hope that the band won’t “give up the ghost” any time soon.  More information on Give Up The Ghost is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pauljohnsonmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pauljohnsonandtheaboutlastnights

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pauljohnsonsolo

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.