Robert Plant, who is coming to The Capitol Theatre on Sept. 25, has just released a masterpiece of an album titled lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar. Throughout the album, Plant’s voice is in top form. Fans looking for a sound more akin to Led Zeppelin will be looking in the wrong place though with this album. African instruments and beats are sprinkled all over the album’s densely packed eleven tracks. Each song has layers upon layers waiting to be unraveled by the listener’s ears.
“Little Maggie” kicks off the album with some sounds that belong on more recent Radiohead releases than a Robert Plant album. With Plant producing the album himself, he definitely wanted it to sound unlike anything he has ever done before. Plant uses great imagery in his lyrics in the song “Pocketful of Golden” that do reach back to those early days of his rock and roll life. The song marches forward on a great hook being played on guitar and traditional African instruments.
The Sensational Space Shifters, the backing band and co-writers of the album, keep this album moving at a breakneck speed. Although none of the songs are fast rockers, the band is impeccable in their execution of the music, and when you are listening to it, suddenly half the album has passed in a blink. “Turn It Up” has Jack White-esque guitar solos sprinkling over Plant’s roaring vocals. The band gives Plant a wide-ranging sonic canvas to explore over and experiment with like he has not had the opportunity to in recent years.
“A Stolen Kiss” and “Somebody There” are both slower tracks on the album, but listening to Plant sing his lyrics in these are like watching a film on screen. The words take you on a journey like few frontmen can do nowadays. On “Poor Howard” Plant reaches all the way back to Lead Belly’s “Po’ Howard” for inspiration. The song is derived straight from the original and lets Plant re-imagine the gritty blues song into more of a Celtic folk song.
His voice may not be as strong as it once was, but he uses it beautifully for the entirety of the album, weaving it in and out of the music at will. Plant has put together a very strong effort for his 10th solo album and the tour to follow should be just as stunning. The album lets Plant tell audiences that he is still willing to explore new sounds and that you should be open to them as well, not just looking at the past. The future is an exciting place and Robert Plant is ready to dive right into it.
Key Tracks: Little Maggie, Poor Howard, Pocketful of Golden
If you’d like to preorder the album now, check out Robert Plant’s site here for some exclusive offers.