Friday, 9 August 2019

Robert Plant - Band Of Joy (2010)

Satan your kingdom must come down....

  

Released on 13 September 2010

Running time 47.32

By 2010 Robert Plant's music was a merging of rock with British and US folk styles and this is very much in that vein and has a sort of communal "band of musicians" feel to it as Plant and his band play their stuff with enthusiasm and attack. It is very much what was known as contemporary folk/roots music. If you're looking for "the hammer of the gods"-style rock, you won't find it here. Plant has a different home these days one feels, and it is one that he is very comfortable in. Of all the Zeppelin members, it is Plant who went on to have the most consistent and innovative post-Zep career. At the beginning, one would have thought it would have definitely been Jimmy Page.

TRACK LISTING

1. Angel Dance
2. House Of Cards
3. Central Two-O-Nine
4. Silver Rider
5. You Can't Buy My Love
6. Falling In Love Again
7. The Only Sound That Matters
8. Monkey
9. Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday
10. Harm's Swift Way
11. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down          
12. Even This Shall Pass Away 
                                    
Angel Dance is a muscular mix of slow, pounding drum-driven rock and Americana-style contemporary folk. This is very much the sort of thing Plant was doing at this point in his career. House Of Cards is a slow burning sort of Dylanesque number (it in fact quotes directly The Times They Are A-Changin' at the beginning. It is actually a Richard Thompson song. An insistent mandolin powers the song majestically along. Central Two-O-Nine is a very US folky number with a stark, bluesy guitar backing and a single thumping bass drum.

Silver Rider is a slow, atmospheric number with Plant sharing vocals with Patty Griffin's ethereal ones. It is a track packed full of enigmatic, beguiling atmosphere. It is a cover of a song from the band Low (who I admit to knowing nothing about). Its heavy guitar at the end is one of the album's few genuine rock moments. You Can't Buy My Love, while having a title near to The Beatles' song, actually has a chorus that is similar. The song's verses have an infectious, rolling drum rocky and upbeat sound. It has a very sixties, poppy sound. Falling In Love Again reminds me of U2's Love Rescue Me. Plant's voice is excellent over the song's gently insistent beat. Its guitar solo is a very country rock, steel-sounding one.


The Only Sound That Matters is a catchy piece of solid folky rock. Monkey is the the other song by Low. It begins with a U2 meets psychedelia buzzy guitar riff. Indeed, the whole song sounds like something off U2's Pop or Zooropa. It is these two Low songs that have the album's only real deep rock sounds. Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday is a traditional folk song given an Americana blues makeover by Plant and his band. Harm's Swift Way is a very attractive, appealing song, with some later career Springsteen-esque gentle riffs and a melodic verse structure. I really like this one.

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down is a beautifully sombre, folky blues. Even This Shall Pass Away has a delicious, shuffling rhythm and an odd but addictive feel to it. Once again, it is very U2-esque.

This was an inventive, thoughtful album that deserves the critical praise it got. Plant has consistently surprised many throughout his long, varied musical career. Long may he continue to do so.

B+