On his last album, Band Of Joy, Robert Plant tried to recapture the magic of his Grammy-winning album, Raising Sand, without Alison Krauss. Of course, he wasn’t able to. Raising Sand is one of the best albums of the last decade, so it was pretty impossible to match. This time around, on Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, Led Zeppelin fans will be happy to hear that Robert has moved back towards a rock sound by teaming up with The Sensational Space Shifters, instead of the spacious Americana sound of his Krauss collaboration.
The album keeps folk elements with guitars and fiddles, but it feels like more like a jam session this time around. It has a southern rock feel that Jack White has been doing on his solo albums, but while Jack comes off as the awkward kid who just wants to play his music by himself, Robert’s album is like a party where the door is wide open for anyone to come in.
The only cover on the album, “Little Maggie”, starts things off with a fiddle on speed, overtop of a punchy beat, and things don’t slow down from there. “Rainbow” with its hand drum and buzzing guitar will have you singing along to its chorus of “ooooh”s, while “Pocket Of Golden” has some Indian influences. There’s an interesting Eastern meets Southern synergy going on throughout the album. Robert isn’t scared to slow things down with a piano ballad on “A Stolen Kiss” and the sharp acoustic sound (with a fiddle solo) on “Poor Howard” is just awesome.
With “Lullaby” in the album title, it might turn off some of Plant’s rock fans, but rest assured, this might be as close to returning to Led Zeppelin as you’re gonna get…and this is a pretty awesome album to settle for.