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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 13 Jul 2010
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Ex-Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant releases his new studio album, The Mighty Rearranger, recorded in Wales and England with his band Strange Sensation--the same group with which he recorded 2002's Dreamland. The album includes the brilliant single "Shine It All Around".
If anything, Robert Plants career as a solo artist appears to be improving with age. With Mighty Rearranger, he builds on the success of his previous album, 2002s Dreamland, blending electronic experimentation with world music eclecticism. On tracks like "Shine It All Around", "All the Kings Horses", "Tin Pan Alley" and "Freedom Fries" recall his past life as frontman for rock icons Led Zeppelin, taking cues from blues, rock and Eastern music. Of course, hes continuing to mellow in his later years, and his voice cant hit the heady heights it once did, but its still impressive and distinctive. And his band the Strange Sensation--in particular, bassist Billy Fuller and drummer Clive Deamer--continue to shine, even ! though theyve been given the unenviable task of trying to fill the shoes once worn by Page, Bonham and Jones. Bits of the album may get a little repetitive towards the end, but Mighty Rearranger is still a fine showing by a living rock legend. --Ted KordSee all Product description
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With beating drums, `Another Tribe' kicks in, Plants vocals saunter effortlessly over the lilting Asian strings and the voyage has begun in a hot steamy Asian desert. From the first track you know where this album is going, not least of all on a journey into the mystic east and at times of course, the deep south of America, exploring Plants love of the Blues. `Shine It all Around' is a moody swagger of a track that slithers in the back door before trampling all over you for the verse, the controlled vocals lead over heavy riff laden guitars and percussion, moody and emotive you can't help but envision Plant in the wilderness decked out as the lonesome cowboy.
`Freedom Fries' is an a stop starter of a track, its push pull rhythm has no trouble in persuading you to groove along to its earthy beat, which bleats sexiness in its entirety, vocals wailing over the top, with essence of Lemon all over you. This trails away almost too quickly into the mysterious; alluring `Tin Pan Valley' which is one of my favourite tracks on the album and is surely one of the strongest. It's unique in its ambience and oozes uber coolness. The preamble tiptoes towards the explosive mid-section teasing us with just a little passion before dying down again to the pulsing moaning Plant, there is no anti-climax when the chorus finally explodes; this is a sure crowd pleaser and is made for zoning out to.
As the polite, unassuming `All The Kings Horses' stirs through our journey, you can almost feel the burning sun of the deep-south through hazy guitar and acoustic rhythm before `The Enchanter' allures us back to the deep Sahara, with eastern percussion and steamy guitar that builds progressively under the vocals, becoming intensely more riled in their nature with the infamous Plant moan atop of the melee below. This track has its roots in Doom. As the lead guitar wines on over the sands the bass guitar tapers any ferocity that dares to escape. We are lead unaware through the emotive `Takamba', another percussively driven track, which twists and turns through unpredictable calmness and excitement. Blues driven guitars riff over a heavy bass-line in competition for any lime-light, vocals untouched by the dispute, before dying down to settle into the busy guitar solo [ala Page, intended or not].
`Dancing In Heaven' is a hippy infused ditty, with flowers in its hair and echoes memories of Ramble On [Led Zeppelin II] and Tangerine [Led Zeppelin III] not to mention the others. Whether the Godly Plant likes it or not it's great to hear he can still pull off Zeppelin-esque numbers easily, because we all love to reminisce.
`Somebody Knocking' is an usual track as its heritage stems from many sources. Heavy African drums mixed with folk guitars and a wailing wining thriller of a vocal line canter over a blues based melody, this track is well seasoned and certainly sounds as if it has been around the World several times. `Let The Four Winds Blow' has no qualms about kicking in first and foremost with its moody, sultry bass-line cool simple kit keeping pace behind Plants pouting vocals. There is patience in this track before it giddies up and explodes and dies down again. The simple instrumentation and embroidered lyrics are what really makes this one work overflowing with sheer cool. `Four Winds' now shift into the explosive title track, `Mighty ReArranger'. There is something distinctly retro-sounding about this track, be it the piano or rhythm and this is something few [Rock] Musicians of today can pull off convincingly. Pounding drums reiterate the jumping guitar line, echoing the vocals as tight as a shadow. I myself have to admit it took a couple of listens to really like this track, but it is definitely a grower.
This is a percussively driven album with sights and sounds from throughout the World music forum, mixed as only Plant and his co. know how. As always Plants voice is enchanting and lends itself uniquely to this ambitious album. This by no means is a heavy Rock or Metal album and nor was it meant to be, merely down to its diversity and difference does it deserve to be heard by all music fans for it be a jewel!
(c) MSA 2005
Planty is still a forward looking artist after all these years despite the fact he could rest on his laurels and no-one would complain - he's done a few good things in the past!
Like Dreamland, MR has a mix of styles which Robert and his band carry off in fine style - a melting pot of rock,world,trip-hop,rockabilly etc etc.
No doubt some lazy journo somewhere will describe Robert as 'rock royalty' which I personally think is an insult implying that a musician's best years are now behind them and they can assume their place in the pantheon of the greats and trot out nothing but old hits and nostaligia (a subject tackled on the CD).2005 sees Robert still searching and still producing great music with a great band.
If you're reading this - buy it;if you're Robert Plant and you're reading this - please play Glasgow and....great job mate!!!
Highlights are the first single Shine It All Around (there is also trance version of it as a hidden track), All The King's Horses, Tin Pan Valley (a great statement of principles from Robert) and Freedom Fries.
I am happy to recommend this album to anyone who likes Robert Plant's music.
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