Deep Purple – ‘Whoosh!’ review: rockers’ 21st record is stupidly fun and outrageously silly

This is music for the car stereo next time you're stuck in traffic on the M4 to Slough. And we mean that as a heartfelt compliment

There’s no denying the fact that 2020’s been an absolutely wild one, so why not double down on the mayhem with the ludicrously flamboyant 21st album from Hertford hard rock titans Deep Purple?

A full 48 years since the release of their stone cold classic hit ‘Smoke On The Water’ and with enough line-up changes to put The Fall (or the Sugababes – choose according to your own personal taste) to everlasting shame, Deep Purple have managed to wade through the rocky waters of the entire history of heavy metal and always come up smiling (inter-band bickering aside).

Packed full of decadent riffs, haunted house keyboards and frontman Ian Gillan’s gloriously hammy vocals, ‘Whoosh!’ isn’t just a testament to their staying power, but perhaps one of the most stupidly fun and outrageously silly albums of the year – and goodness, we’re all in need of a bit of fun right now, aren’t we?

Gillan has offered the following enjoyably nonsensical explanation of the album title: “Whoosh is an onomatopoeic word that, when viewed through one end of a radio-telescope, describes the transient nature of humanity on Earth; and, through the other end from a closer perspective, illustrates the career of Deep Purple.” Digging this deep into the meaning behind ‘Whoosh!’ isn’t necessary – this is an album that can and should be enjoyed without over-thinking.

Dramatic opener ‘Throw My Bones’ sets the tone with a guitar solo worthy of being played shirtless on a stormy clifftop. And the song fades out! How long has it been since you last heard a song fade out?! That Deep Purple don’t give a shit is undeniably part of this record’s appeal – it’s at once totally out of step with modern times and just the kind of thing we need to soothe one of the worst years in living memory.

While the aggressive rockabilly of ‘What The What’ might have overdone it with the boogie-woogie piano, ‘Nothing At All’ is a chugging, timeless rock ballad of the kind that will absolutely destroy rock night dancefloors across the globe, while the strutting ‘No Need To Shout’ shows you where Guns N’ Roses got all their ideas from. The utterly anthemic ‘The Long Way Round’, meanwhile, is a dead cert for the car stereo next time we get stuck in traffic on the M4 to Slough.

Sure, ‘Whoosh!’ might not sound like it was created in 2020, but considering the last few months we’ve had, maybe that’s a good thing.


Release date: August 7

Record label: earMUSIC

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