ROCK GOD ROBERT PLANT refuses to look back. His challenge, he says, is the future sound of his iconic voice.
With Led Zeppelin far away in the rear view mirrow, his solo career has meandered through the English countryside for nearly three decades. It has featured rock, country roots (with Alison Krauss on “Raising Sand” — a terrific album) and most recently a blend of worldly rhythms with 2014’s “Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar” and 2017’s “Carry Fire.”
In 2017, Plant told writer Michael Hill for www.nonesuch.com: “I rejoice in my previous work but must continue the journey to new worlds, after all there are so many songs that are yet to be written. The whole impetus of the band has shifted, moved on its axis somewhat to allow more air and light to come in. Ultimately that makes for more exciting, and interesting landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation.”
With his longtime band Sensational Space Shifters, the songwriter in Plant wants to explore not just his sound, but how he parlays personal experience into lyrics.
"I've filled many British passports,” Plant tells Hill. "It's like I'm just moving through the spheres. I feel like a mariner who has spent so much time in so many different ports of call, experiencing so many different adventures and scenarios. So perhaps this collection is more 'pictures at twelve' rather than 'pictures at eleven’."
The trippy mix of Celtic, African, Middle Eastern and Indian musical influences from the Sensational Shape Shifters creates a relaxing, zen-like groove that is both calming but, at times, danceable.
It’s not the Robert Plant we knew. It’s Robert Plant now. And he’s still a musical marvel.
- Track 4: "Dance with You Tonight"
- Track 8: "Bones of Saints"
- Track 11: "Heaven Sent"
🛢🛢🛢/5. Available everywhere since Oct. 13, 2017.