Friday, October 1, 2010

Band of Joy

Band of Joy
Robert Plant
iTunes Review

Riding the wave of renewed artistic vitality that came with his collaboration with Alison Krauss on Raising Sand, Robert Plant returns with a solid solo album that’s named after the band he led before he joined Led Zeppelin. Just as Led Zeppelin’s III brought the band’s folk interests to the surface, Band of Joy is a clear moment of Plant playing the music he dearly loves. Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance” is sent into the U.K.’s Black Country. Richard Thompson’s “House of Cards” is given an elegant Thompson-like treatment. “Silver Rider” and “Monkey” from Minnesota slo-core veterans Low are given a sweet, majestic interpretation. Townes Van Zandt’s “Harm’s Swift Way” was the last song he ever finished writing and Plant, with Patty Griffin harmonizing, brings its wondrous sorrow to a heart-stirring finale. Buddy Miller’s co-production is subtle and unobtrusive, catering to the many styles featured here. While much has been made of Plant’s vocal power, his vocal timing and phrasing is ever bit as important. The traditional, “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down,” is one ominous tune, as heavy as anything from his former band.

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