Legendary rockers, Deep Purple, are back with their 21st album, Whoosh! The album is the band's third release produced by the equally legendary Bob Ezrin. If Whoosh! Could be described in one word, it would be groove, and few bands are able to lock into grooves as tight as Deep Purple. While many groups that have been around more than 50 years might sound their age, Deep Purple sounds fresh and vital and, most importantly, one can hear the fun they are having still making great music.
The album leads off with "Throw My Bones," which begins with a funky groove and showcases dramatic keyboards courtesy of Don Airey. Singer Ian Gillan gives a soulful vocal. While he may not quite be able to reach the banshee scream heights of the early 1970s (who can?), Gillan has become a singer, not unlike Robert Plant, who knows when and how to push his voice to suit the track. The driving, melodic rock of "Drop The Weapon" follows and one can hear the fun the band is having on this number. Airey and guitarist Steve Morse trade licks in this standout track.
The band goes for an eerie, atmospheric vibe on "Step By Step" and "The Power Of The Moon." The former takes an almost neoclassical approach with its organ intro while the latter is a mysterious track with a potent vocal and guitar solo to match. On the up-tempo 'What The What," the band sings about living it up. This is more of a straight-ahead rocker and it boasts excellent piano and guitar solos.
There are a pair of instrumentals on the album as well -- the short "Remission Possible" and the group's rerecording of "And The Address." On "Remission Possible," the band goes for a less is more approach, showing off their brilliant playing, but only for a little bit, leading into the strong rocker "Man Alive." Written by Ritchie Blackmore and the late Jon Lord, "And The Address" finds the band going full circle as it was the first song on their first album all those years ago.
"Dancing In My Sleep" closes out the record and, like so many others on the album, it finds the band locked into a tight groove. Deep Purple remains a band with chops younger bands could only dream of having.
After over 50 years, Deep Purple's love of playing together shines through on Whoosh! With tight playing and excellent vocals, not to mention endless grooves, the band remains as strong as ever. If this proves to be their farewell release, Deep Purple is going out on a high note.