The funk and soul elements on the previous three Deep Purple albums are gone, and the progressive and acoustic elements from Fireball are also absent. Stylistically, The album is a mixture of the style from Machine Head with some of the music from the time.
The album makes some concessions to the sounds of the 1980s, such as use of an autotuner on the chorus of single ‘Knocking At Your Back Door,’ and some keyboard sounds and production techniques which wouldn’t be found on the band’s earlier music.
There is however, quite a strong collection of songs to be found on Perfect Strangers, the years had not adversely affected their musicianship and though certain sections may seem dated, the majority of the album is just well written and enjoyable rock music, with big guitar solos, flailing drum fills and furious key solos.
The album contains the concert favourite title track ‘Perfect Strangers,’ which many Deep Purple fans would consider must listen stuff, the album isn’t exactly full of filler either. The driving and hard closer ‘Not Responsible,’ and the catchy ‘Gypsy’s Kiss,’ are both standouts and ‘Nobody’s Home,’ would fit well into any of the MKII albums from the 70s.
In summary; Perfect Strangers is a good Deep Purple album, the songs are good, the musicianship is exemplary and the only real flaw is that the production is a little too 80s in places. Highly recommended; For newcomers maybe not the first album you should get by the band, but if you already like the band this is definitely one to add to your collection.