|Robert Plant Mighty Rearranger||Sanctuary Records|
Robert Plant is the very definition of a legend. His work with Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin are wisely heralded as some of the most important music in rock n roll history.|
His solo efforts have been largely impressive also. While taking a different path to that of his famous band, the albums have managed to dish out a few classics in their own.
I remain deeply enamored with the albums Fate Of Nations and Now & Zen and to a lesser degree Manic Nirvana.
In the other instances the solo material hasn't really inspired my long term interest and I really found Dreamland to be rather average. And that is the key here...those that love Dreamland will totally dig this as it's even better. But if you struggled with that album, this doesn't offer much joy. I own every Zeppelin record, but similarily was really disappointed with Plant & Page's Walking Into Clarksdale album - just too soft.
Regardless of a loss of interest in Plant's recent work, I do anticipate a new record. It has every chance of being brilliant.
Juding by critical reviews, it seems I am in a minority. The people behind this record – the label and marketing folks – seem deeply impressed with this album, as are much of the mainstream press, but I cannot wholeheartedly share their enthusiasm.
Perhaps my frame of mind is not receptive to an album as subtle as this. With Stratovarius, Lande/Allen and Brazen Abbot on high rotation, Plant has proved to be a nice soft rock alternative, yet I still find it hard to get too excited about it.
This is a real mood album and should you find yourself playing it at the perfect moment, I believe it will strike a chord with many readers. But make sure the mood is set before playing it. This is a very laid back and atmospheric release, with the bulk of material being softly sung and gently delivered. The emphasis is clearly on creating a mood and delivering an album that undertakes a journey, but whether listeners will still be awake at the end is the big question.
What's missing for me are the soulful hooks and memorable passages of past genius such as I Believe, 29 Palms, Dance On My Own, The Way I Feel, Helen Of Troy and Come Into My Life.
There is no doubting or questioning the musical intelligence on show within this record. The vast layers of instrumentation, the experimentation with non-traditional instruments and the change of approach from track to track all signal great musical understanding by those involved.
One of the best album covers of the year and accompanying websites though!
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