Deep Purple "inFinite" (earMUSIC)
This album is so Purple even Prince would love it.
Deep Purple, those space truckers from the late '60s whose four-chord intro to "Smoke on the Water" became the go-to practice riff for every kid picking up guitar for the first time, is back with what may or may not be the final album in its Hall of Fame career. The band is being deliberately coy in the album title, the tour nickname ("The Long Goodbye") and recent interview comments.
But whether or not this is as deep as they ultimately go, this album has plenty of what keeps Deep Purple great. Singer Ian Gillan's glass-shattering screams of yesteryear have been replaced by mid-range rock rumblings, and founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore has been gone for 20 years now, ably replaced by the fluid licks of Steve Morse.
Morse and keyboardist Don Airey (Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne) deserve particular credit for keeping the trademark Purple sound fresh on tracks like "Time for Bedlam" and "All I Got Is You," with the intricate interplay between guitar and keyboard solos, saturated in the keyboard distortion that makes this band's sound so instantly recognizable.
"Hip Boots" evokes the classic "Lazy" guitar and keyboard riff, and a cover of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" is worth the price of the disc all by itself.