Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mighty Rearranger

My cousin sent me this disc a while back. I listened to it a few times. I liked it quite a lot, actually. I meant to post about it. I grew distracted and did not write the post. I recently read that a remastered edition of this CD was released on March 20, 2007. Why would a CD recorded in 2004 and released in 2005 possibly need to be remastered? I have no idea. But, I figured I'd better attempt to rectify my oversight in failing to post on the un-remastered original, now that it is (apparently) totally obsolete:

First of all, let me say that Plant's vocals are impressive. Many times they are impressive for the restraint practiced. I.e. he seems able to hit all the same notes he always did, but he doesn't feel the "need" to go over the top all the time.

"Another Tribe" is the opener, and it has a cool mix of acoustic guitar, strings, and some backwards-masked sounds. It's the Physical Graffiti vibe updated 20 years. Very cool.

"Shine It All Around" begins with some more bacwards-masked sounding stuff and a sledgehammer drumbeat that recalls "When the Levee Breaks" (for me, at least). I'll go ahead and name this the best made-to-be-a-single of Plant's post-Zep career.

"Freedom Fries" has a little "Hots on for Nowhere" (from Presence, for you casual Zep fans) electric guitar line, to my ears. Again, the updated sound, with varied influences, sounds great. And the title is cool, immortalizing what just might be the most inane term to be defined by Bush's Iraq War.

"Tin Pan Valley" just about lulls you to sleep in between its violent explosions. Cool track. "All the King's Horses" has "Going to California" oozing from its every pore, and DAMN it's great! Holy shit! For my money, this is a prefect illustration of what's so cool about this album: Plant reacquaints himself with his Led Zeppelin roots, while still adorning songs with the various other influences he's absorbed during his solo career.

"The Enchanter" has a cool, plodding fuzziness to it. At the 4-minute mark of this song, if you jump ship, then OK, I guess. But, if you're like me, and still listening with rapt attention, then you'll know this album has got you in its unrelenting grasp.

I'll stop the song-by-song review there, for now at least. As for the new remastered version, hmmmmm, I might just have to check it out.

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Blogger mat said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I have to agree that the Zeppelin vibe is much more pronounced on this album than on some of his previous solo outings. I figured you would appreciate this album! I read that there was a box set of all of his solo albums coming out sometime in the spring. I assume that is where the remaster thing is coming from. Some of his early solo discs were in desparate need of remastering!

5:56 PM, May 21, 2007  
Blogger haahnster said...

Mat: Thank you! And, I suppose that makes more sense (the remastering as part of a larger project).

6:32 AM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Jumping off the subject. Do you know the sex of your soon to be bundle of joy?

9:24 AM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger haahnster said...

OL: "It's a boy!" That's what the doctor says as he points to the scrotum during ultrasounds.

11:12 AM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I think Robert Plant is still amazing. This CD most assuredly has a Led Zep thing going.

Much better than the "Sea of Love" stuff he got out of his system.

He, at least, can still sing (as opposed to Roger Daultry and other contemporaries of his)

1:43 PM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Grant Miller said...

Robert Plant always seemed to be the weak link in Led Zeppelin. But maybe I'm being harsh.

2:14 PM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger mat said...

Weak link? Surely you jest!

4:54 PM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger haahnster said...

KK: Spot on, my man.

Grant: Zeppelin had no weak links. Admittedly, Plant was a bit extreme on the "flower child" scale for my taste. But, his vocal chops were more than enough to outweigh that, IMHO. Page, Bonham and Jones were all world-class musicians. Amazing group. Start drinking the kool aid!

Mat: He has been known to jest.

8:47 PM, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous Glassmeow said...

I'm all over the box set! I played a cassette (yep, it was the 80's) of Now and Zen until it shredded inside my car stereo.

Never replaced it on cd and missed a few inbetween then and now.

So much music, so little time!

7:52 PM, May 23, 2007  

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