Sunday, October 19, 2014

Robert Plant Lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar Nonesuch 2014

 
The most expansive Robert Plant solo release thus far...
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
If you have to "learn to like" something then the substance is not really there and this is where the release falls apart. Lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar is an overly ambitious melting pot of sound, texture and genre and that simply don't work. Plant's voice would seem to be in fine form. There are occasional glimpses of harmonic genius on some of the original tunes. The bluegrass bookends would seem to be left from the Alison Krauss release. There is simply too much happening at any one time and with minimal direction. While hard core Plant and Zeppelin fans are probably lining up outside my front door with pitch forks and flaming torches, a certain sense of objectivity is merely tossed out for your consideration.
 
An intimate exploratory of sound, Plant is on record as describing this as a celebratory record, powerful, gritty, African, Trance meets Zep...I call it a train wreck. Rock and roll gumbo gone wrong, want to do another Zeppelin record then do it. The middle eastern vibe Zeppelin embraced was a key part of their harmonic DNA, this just fills time. It is creative but to what extent? Does Plant have anything left to say? I don't think so and I think on closer examination if the hardcore fan is honest they may well agree but taste is of course subjective.
 
This is Robert Plant trying to reinvent his musical wheel...It didn't happen.
 
2 Stars.