Rapture of the Deep is the 18th studio album by the British hard rock band Deep Purple, released in November 2005.
This is the fourth studio outing by Deep Purple since Steve Morse joined on guitar, and confirms that Ian Gillan can still write engaging lyrics and sing with power and subtlety; it also confirms that Steve Morse cannot produce solos that you will remember for a lifetime, but that he can provide a range of textures and sounds which Blackmore never did. Don Airey has recaptured the classic Hammond sound identified with Jon Lord, and his playing is magnificent. Paice is smothered in the mix, while Glover stands out. Michael Bradford's production leaves something to be desired - both Gillan and Paice were up front on Bananas, not so here.
Now for the songs themselves. Money Talks is a long, lumbering song featuring incisive lyrics. Perhaps not the ideal opener, if you prefer an album to crash through the gates. Girls Like That is more conventional, though not exceptional. Wrong Man is a cracker - a powerful riff and some great singing by Gillan give this song an immediacy and vitality that's impossible to resist. The title song is their second 'Perfect Strangers', a near classic. An inspired solo, rather than the generic one Steve delivers here, would have elevated his song to the stratosphere. Clearly Quite Absurd is a sensitive, gentle song on which Gillan really shines. It's the 'Walk On' of Rapture. Or, to those more familiar with the output of earlier line-ups, it's a worthy successor to When A Blind Man Cries or even Soldier of Fortune. Don't Let Go is dispensable, Back to Back has a strong groove and crunchy guitars, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is a hard-rocking rant against man's plunder of the planet, MTV is a satirical take on the music industry which cold shoulders bands like Purple, Junkyard Blues is just about adequate (Don Airey is good though), and the last song, Before Time Began, is another attempt at conscience stirring. It's broken into several parts, and the ones that work best are those that contain elements of progressive rock. Overall a sturdy album.
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