By LANDON JAMES
Robert Plant’s latest solo album, “Band of Joy,” is a highlight in Plant’s repertoire and the best solo album to come from the former Led Zeppelin front man in years.
The album, named after Plant’s first band with the late great pal and thunderous drummer John Bonham, was released on September 14th. “Band of Joy” is Plant’s latest work since the 2007 release of “Raising Sand,” the six-time Grammy winning collaboration with country wonder Allison Krauss.
Plant brings the best of his past solo attempts and influences together in an album that highlights the soft and heavy side that is Plant, and that was Led Zeppelin.
“Angel Dance” brings the album out of its Nashville recording studio into the Middle Eastern sounds of Plant’s mind with a heavy downbeat and some bluesy folk stomp.
From there, the album soars through funky soulful notes to more subdued English folk tones accented perfectly by Plant’s soothing, yet crudely energetic voice. Despite the word on the street, Plant’s voice may be a bit wrinkled, but shows no sign of kicking the bucket anytime soon.
Highlights of the album include the hard-hitting, dreamy “Monkey” followed by a catchy rendition of the folk number “Cindy I’ll Marry You One Day,” where Plant’s effortless voice glides right through the catchy melody giving the album a lighthearted lift.
Plant never fails to bring a calm, yet fierce presence to his songs. At times, you can hear vestiges of Plant’s former howl seeping through the wrinkled cracks, but Plant gracefully keeps his vocal chords in check.
Plant powers through this folksy album with the same power and mysterious finesse that has come to define his musical style and talents since he first emerged on the British music scene with the Band of Joy. If anything, “Band of Joy” is a trip back to Plant’s roots and origins and one of his best solo efforts to date.
4 screaming Robert Plant heads out of 5