Pop & Rock

Robert Plant Finds Joy


Robert Plant's days of vocally flitting about the highest of registers to thickly distorted rock licks are decades behind him. But, the seminal rock figure continues to reach for lofty goals such as delivering similarly meaningful music, but with less flash. He nails it and delivers a number of surprises on his latest Rounder release Band Of Joy.

The follow up to Raising Sand, his multi-Grammy-winning album of duets with bluegrass queen Alison Krauss, Band Of Joy finds Plant venturing further down the Americana path. The whole album features touches of folk (the classic "Cindy, I'll Mary You Someday"), mid-'50s R&B ("Falling In Love Again"), blues ("Central Two-O-Nine") and even '90s alt rock such as my favorite cut, his cover of Low's "Monkey."

This isn't a veteran artist searching for a new sound. On the contrary, Plant has been delving into these waters his whole career, notably in the '80s with his band The Honeydrippers. Comprised almost entirely of covers, even the album's name is a nod to his life-long interest in these genres, specifically his pre-Zeppelin psychedelic folk/country group Band Of Joy.

The release serves up a steady, thoughtful collection of exceptional songs, each one rich with history. The fact that the guy singing them is historic as well makes it all the better.

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