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Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation: Mighty Rearranger

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To begin, I like this album. It’s Robert Plant, the guy from Led Zeppelin!! This is important to note as a lot of this new CD sounds like Zeppelin, which is totally acceptable. Robert Plant is allowed to sound like his former pioneering supergroup. People like David Coverdale (Whitesnake) and Billy Squier are not. It’s okay to be derivitive of yourself.

Before I get too deep, and to build a little credibility, I should state my affiliation, I am only an occasional Led Zeppelin fan. I typically tune out when “Black Dog” or “Ramble On” come on, staying only for deeper cuts like “Hot Dog” or “Thank You.” So you see that I’m not a “golden god” shill. Hopefully, you’ll take my opinions as objectively as I mean to communicate them.

The album has 12 tracks, 11 of which are actual songs. The final track on the album “Brother Ray” sounds like a studio outtake, included on the album as an homage to the late Ray Charles. That’s just a guess, by the way. Please correct me if you have the real story.

Of the 11 tracks, I can honestly say I really like nine of them. Now I’m not saying this is the greatest album of all time, or even of the year for that matter. I would say that this is real rock, and not just some old guy trying to relive his glory days. The songs are strong, both lyrically and musically. Plant’s band is top-notch, which is probably why they receive artist billing (Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation).

I’ve selected two songs that deserve praise AND laud. Take a listen to the soundclips on your favorite CD vendor’s website:

1. “Shine it all Around” – This is a fun song with a cool bass line and a catchy riff. The positive lyrics don’t hurt either. I guess you could say it’s “radio friendly,” if there is still a place on radio for guys like Robert Plant (don’t get me started on that).

2. “All the King’s Horses” – This is my favorite song on the album, and the most simple. It’s just Plant and a couple of guitars (maybe a keyboard effect here and there). It has kind of a “Going to California” vibe, but it’s a little more mellow. This song is a must for one of those “chill-out” mixes.

As I implied earlier by my statement about the number of tunes I dug, the real strength of this CD is that it’s strong all the way through. Sure, there are weaker songs. But those songs are always surrounded by stonger ones. This is a great album to play straight through. Programming is really not necessary.

If you consider yourself a Zeppelin fan or even a fan of the dying art of album oriented rock, I suggest you pick this one up. In a time when artists from our past continue to put out sub-standard music with no remorse (Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney), it’s nice to see one of the greatest vocalists of the rock era cares enough to release a whole album full of quality material.

Rating: Buy it

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About Joe Battista

  • http://www.manicnirvana.com RPF

    Brother Ray (indeed a Ray Charles homage) isn’t exactly the final song on the album. There’s a hidden track right after it which is the “Girls Remix” of Shine it All Around.

  • Keeper of The Crag

    Truer words were never spoken, especially regarding the disappearing of Album Oriented Rock. It might sound easy to come up with 12 tunes that are catchy, different, and not trying to be commercial to the point of pandering to the “Happy Hour Nightclub/Sportsbar” scene that has encroached on FM rock radio, which, as everone knows, USED to be the mouthpiece for new creativity in the Mind-Music phenomenon that used to exist prior to recent and even not so recent years. Kudos to Robert Plant and his current band – he can still pull it off, without even sounding like a “classic rock” product for the masses. If anyone has any hormones left at all in their Earthly bodies, they owe it to themselves to go see Robert during his summer tour in the US. Go do it. Do it now.

  • http://livinblog.blogspot.com/ Joe Battista

    Good catch, RPF! Those sneaky producers and their hidden tracks!

  • keeper of the crag

    Wow… four years later and nothing worth talking about from Plant. Yes, he won a Grammy with that recent “old timers” recording, but I’m talking about Plant – not the sewing circle club version of Plant. Where is he?

  • keeper of the crag

    wow… four years and five months later and still nothing worth talking about from Plant. Even radio has stopped playing his solo material .

  • keeper of the crag

    wow…. over five years now since MR, and still no real Plant. The Bland of Roy is about as dismissable as the Krause Dog w/mustard. Wish he’d stop being a cerebral bully towards Jason. See ya next year!

  • keeper of the crag

    Here we are… 2011. And Blondie is back on the couch at Letterman. the famed couch sung about in Rearranger. Still no new music worth talking about though. Shame, isn’t it? I will give him credit that he can sit on the couch with his left leg under the right which would normally be uncomfortable for most humans even at a younger age. Double jointed? At least he’s in the right place for such abilities – a Circus!

  • keeper of the crag

    AND…. here we are July of 2011 and still no evidence of Plant. Someone said he was in the States doing gigs,but that was later disproved as an imposter. Still waiting for a new “Plant album”….. have been really since …. ummmm…. Manic Nirvana!