"Hughes Turner Project" (Shrapnel; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

As regular Rough Edge readers are no doubt aware, my favorite eras of Deep Purple are fronted by vocalist Ian Gillan. I've heard the other "machs" of the band, but never really followed them the way I followed (and continue to follow) the Gillan-led line-ups.

Well, judging from this outstanding CD, I'm gonna have to go back and do a little re-listening.

Hughes Turner Project features former Deep Purple vocalists Joe Lynn Turner and Glenn Hughes, trading vocals like the pros they are and delivering some incredible new music (except on "Mystery of the Heart" and "Heaven's Missing an Angel," sung exclusively by Turner and Hughes respectively). Fans of their respective Deep Purple eras will love the fresh new, Deep Purple-ish sound of "Hughes Turner Project." But you don't have to be a Deep Purple fan to like this record. It will hook you on its own accord and it will hold you throughout its nearly 66-minute running time. It's never so melodic that it sounds like Journey, and it's never so hard as to sound like nu-metal.

The CD starts out with the driving "Devil's Road," a song that will stick in your mind for days after you first listen to it. And it ends with the 7+ minute epic "On the Ledge." The sequencing of this CD is superb, with the tracks building to a crescendo, despite the fact that their rhythms vary greatly as the CD progresses.

What can be said about the vocal talents hereon? Nothing that hasn't been said hundreds of times before. They're great, to put it simply. J.J. Marsh solidly delivers the so-important six-string action (with a few guest axemen making appearances on several tracks) and Vince DiCola supplies the perfect keyboards - keys that only enhance the music, never overwhelm it.

Fans of classic rock will thrill to the twelve tracks on "Hughes Turner Project." It's easily one of the best records either Mr. Turner or Mr. Hughes have done in years.

Performing on Hughes Turner Project are: Glenn Hughes - vocals, bass; Joe Lynn Turner - vocals; J.J. Marsh - guitars; Vince DiCola - keyboards; Shane Galaas - drums and percussion. John Sykes - guitars on "Heaven's Missing an Angel." Paul Gilbert - guitar solo on "You Can't Stop Rock'n'Roll." Akira Kajiyama - guitar solo on "Ride the Storm" and "Against the Wall."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Jun 2022 15:54:50 -0400.