Although I’ve heard of Deep Purple, I had no idea that singer-songwriter Ian Gillan had also performed with Black Sabbath, on a studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, and alongside the late Luciano Pavarotti. So it came to be, that I slipped his new album into the C.D player having no idea what to expect.
What I got was a powerful feeling that I wasn’t just listening to a C.D, I was at a concert, such is the quality of his live sound. I was quite surprised at how much he put into his vocal performance on some tracks too. The 12 tracks on the album are essentially classic, well produced rock, with a variety of African, blues, and funk influences in the instrumentation. It’s lively, infectious, and an album I could easily picture people dancing to, maybe even in the movies.
An African/Rock fusion in ‘Eye To Morocco’ starts off the album. I’m not really sure how well it works as the so called ‘Nucleus’ of the project, considering the styles of the other songs, but the sounds do work well together.
Standout tracks for me include ‘No Lotion For That’ for it’s groove and rhythm, ‘Girl Goes To Show’ for it’s chilled out holiday island feel, and The Sky Is Falling Down for its funk based guitar arrangements. The other tracks follow similar styles, with upbeat rock and roll, jazz and blues, and reflective ballad playing their part in an enjoyable album. You’re sure to pick up on the 60’s/Elvis influences in places too.
Overall, it’s an interesting album that I reacted to quite quickly, especially in terms of the up-tempo tracks. If like me, you’re new to Ian Gillan’s work then I’d recommend having a listen. It’s an enjoyable C.D that brings lots of pictures to mind, which sometimes is just what you need from a rock album. Apparently, this solo album is Gillan’s first in 10 years. I think his fans will find it’s been worth the wait.
‘One Eye To Morocco’ is out now and available from all good record/download stores. Also available is the current ‘Deep Purple’ album ‘Raptures of the Deep’ and Gillan’s own ‘Live In Anaheim’ concert CD/DVD package. For more information visit www.gillan.com.