Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Robert Plant - The Mighty Rearranger (2005)


Released May 2005

This album builds on the quality of 2002's "Dreamland", keeping most of the band together and adding more musicians. Again, the album is a mix of rock, folk, blues, world music and some of the spirit of Led Zeppelin's mysticism (which was often Plant's anyway). It is another strong, interesting and inventive album.


1. Another Tribe
2. Shine It All Around
3. Freedom Fries
4. Tin Pan Valley
5. All The King's Horses
6. The Enchanter
7. Takamba
8. Dancing In Heaven
9. Somebody Knocking
10. Let The Four Winds Blow
11. Mighty Rearranger
12. Brother Ray                                      

"Another Tribe", for a few seconds has a "Rock 'n' Roll" drum intro before the upbeat, folky guitar strains and "Kashmir"-esque keyboards arrive to swirl this intoxicating track onwards. Then we get a bit of wah-wah guitar and a sumptuous bass line. Plant's vocals are very Bono-ish in places. "Shine It All Around" starts very Zep-ish in its slow, insistent drum grind, then we get some Jimmy Page-style guitar. "Freedom Fries" is a delicious piece of bluesy rockabilly liveliness that meets grinding riffy, rock. Plant's voice is just great and the drums are very Bonham. This is the sort of thing you could have imagined Zeppelin doing in the 2000s, had they survived. The most "Zep" song so far is "Tin Pan Valley", with its organ intro, infectious cymbal work at the beginning. Its rhythm is deep and seductive. Then, like a hammer from the Gods (sorry), all hell breaks loose, briefly, half way through, then we return to the subtle bass, cymbals and Plant's quiet vocal for a while. Then it breaks out again. Nice one. No Led Zeppelin fan can fail to enjoy this, surely.

"All The King's Horses" is a laid-back "Led Zeppelin III" meets Paul Weller folky, acoustic ballad. While it certainly has the spirit of "Goin' To California" and "Over The Hills And Far Away", it is still very much its own unique entity. It is not just a nostalgic retrospective. It breathes in its own right. "The Enchanter" is a sultry, grinding, brooding, slow rock number that serves to confirm that this is a quality album that acknowledges Plant's past but still produces classic rock, even in 2005, when it was not top of the popular music tree. This album brings it right back. "Takumba" is a heavy rocker, with a bit of North African influence and some more very Bonham-esque power drums.

"Dancing In Heaven" has a beautifully deep and melodic bass line underpinning its sensual, catchy ambience. Eastern guitar runs through the track too, with some Beatles-inspired drumming. "Somebody Knocking" has even more of an Eastern influence in its hypnotic groove. "Let The Four Winds Blow" is packed full of atmosphere - blues, slow rock, rock 'n' roll guitar. It is another one with an entrancing sound to it. The title track has a great bluesy riff and a quirkily catchy vocal and rhythm. The album ends with a bit of blues piano boogie on "Brother Ray" which then, after a brief pause, gives us a "hidden" track of spacey, dance-ish instrumental and occasional vocals, which actually turns out to be a clubby remix of "Shine It All Around".

This album is as enjoyable as its predecessor was - proper music. Love it.


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