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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 October 2002
I first listened to this on holiday in France. My brother had bought a copy on a day out in one of the cities in Provence.
We put it on the car stereo on the way home and listened to it from start to finish.
By the time we pulled up to our villa, both my father and I had vowed not to leave the country without our own copies.
This album is essentially a list of cover-versions, but don't be mislead. Each and every one of these tracks has been soaked in Plant's own styling and his voice drips rich textures over each track.
The opener, as I learnt from Mr Plant himself in concert at the Hammersmith Appolo, was written in 1939 by an old bluesman on death row in America and is as good a piece of simple blues done magnificently well as you could hope to hear outside of the mississippi delta.
Each and every song on this album would stand up on its own but there are two tracks that linger in my mind after listening.
Firstly, his version of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren" is so pitch-perfect to be truly moving and a song that both sinks you into a love-torn despair and lifts you with its sheer beauty at the same time. Just magnificent musicianship.
The second track is his version of "Hey Joe". Who else in their right minds would EVER even consider trying to out-do Jimi Hendrix?
The scary thing is he produces a version so dark, brooding and sinister whilst remaining totally controlled, that he pulls it off! This is a very different version to Hendrix' and as such it is not possible to say which is better. I simply say this is how I had always imagined that song should be. After all, the story is a dark one, so should the song be.
In conclusion, for anyone who likes Led Zeppelin, go have your faith reconfirmed. For those newer to the scene, go find the master at his best, setting the bar higher and higher for others to follow.
For purists, buy the CD, learn to appreciate the songs and then go see him play them live and marvel at how seamlessly they blend into his Zeppelin back catalogue.
Finally, a word to the doorman who took my ticket stub at the concert last night. I appologise for misleading you when you asked me if Robert Plant was from Def Leppard, I cheekily replied "no,ZZ Top". Too my amazement, he replied "oh yeah, that's right!" and ushered me on my way.
You musn't laugh, just buy the poor man a copy of this cd and he will never forget the answer.
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on 29 March 2007
This is an ecclectic collection of cover versions - not bland copies of the originals but thoughtful and provocative reworkings. 'Hey Joe' becomes a sonic acrobatic drive through the cosmos, 'Song to the Siren' (always a treat, whoever does it) a gentle lament and 'One More cup of Coffee' a delicate introspection with muted vocal. Justin Adams seems to have brought some transendental N African qualities with him from his time with Jah Wobble's Invaders.

'Morning Dew' and 'Fixing to Die' contrast each other dramatically but open the album and set the tone perfectly - a great reflection of what's to come. Porl Thompson adds a second guitar so that the two players are almost fencing at times. Plant becomes a passenger. 'Red Dress' (a rocker)and 'Darkness Darkness' (a moody drawl) are also stand out tracks where I've never heard the originals but now I'm curious. I'll bet they sound nothing like these versions.
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on 27 June 2002
Takes a bit of getting used too but when you finally get the feel for this album it really is excellent.
Plant has that unmistakable voice, but on this album it really is superlative. The music is a welcome change and proves that Plant can not only hack it with the rest, but clearly is better than the best. Try to take time to listen to the music with headphones on, as a lot of the subtle production & mixing is lost when listening through speakers. Don't judge this album based on the fact that most of it made up of cover versions, the Plant interpretation/execution is unique & very cleverly delivered. The other tracks are brilliant as well. The single I have no doubt will be received with great gusto by those who appreciate good music, but I don't think the current singles "charts" have a space for this type of quality music,(I hope I am wrong). Well done Robert Plant & band a superb work of art & something no doubt they are proud of.
This is an album which you must own, and I have no doubt that it will be a great addition to the Robert Plant collection.
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on 25 October 2002
Planties done it again- another ecletic mix of musical expressions.I kinda like eastern styles of music, so this certainly aroused my interest.
'Fixin to die'- i found hypnotic and couldn't stop humming it after the first play, but i guess my favourite would be 'Mornin Dew,' Plants voice is so tender on this i feel 16 and in love for the first time! 'One more cup of coffee' and 'Song to the Siren' have a similar effect.....
I could go on and review every track, but others have already been there.The whole album is is an interesting, enjoyable listening experience.
I went to see Plant at Manchester on the 20th Oct and may i say it was the best i have ever seen him.He seemed happier and so he should be -with an album and live performance of this calibre.
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on 3 October 2014
It just goes to show how some albums can polarize opinion. This to me is one of the best he's ever done. It's certainly, along with Mighty Rearranger an album I keep going back to. Fixin' to die, Morning Dew, and an electrifying Hey Joe are my own favourites, but the whole album is quality. The whole thing is down to personal taste, because the highly rated Raising Sand is an album I couldn't get into at all. It's always gonna be the problem with an artist as versatile and challenging as Robert.
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on 17 May 2004
I was always apprehensive when approaching a new RP solo effort. Pictures was a LZ hang over; Moments was a new direction; Shaken 'n' Stirred he was lost; Zen was trying to be a Coverdale/Page copy. Manic Nirvana he'd sorted things, while Fate of Nations showed what a talent he is... Dreamland is simply astonishing. It showcases his vocal talents on his favourite songs as well as 4 original compositions.
I saw the Priory of Bryon a few years ago in a very intimate atmosphere. He said on hearing the cry "Rock and Roll" from the audience. Sorry I'm 50 now, I've gone past all that shirt to the navel screaming scene." Yep, I knew what he was saying. Dreamland is a reflective piece of work which shows an artist completely at ease with his talent and the musicians around him. Enjoy the experience he presents on this disc. I love it, it is seldom far from the cd player.It shouldn't be far away from yours.
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on 12 July 2002
This was what the man himself wrote on a photograph I'd taken of him at a concert in Leicester in 1983. He'd asked me why I kept turning up at the show night after night and, unable to find a witty answer I said "I don't know". Well Robert, I do now - because the more I hear the better it gets and at every listening you hear something more.
"Dreamland" plays in rotation with all the other solo Plant albums in my car and, alongside the wonderful "Fate of Nations" it ranks as the best. The phrase "cover version" doesn't cover what are creative, thoughtful and original interpretations of such well known songs as "Morning Dew", "Hey Joe" and "Song to the Siren".
There can be no better example of a singer whose voice is truly a musical instrument and the seventh track on the album "Darkness, Darkness" is a perfect illustration and, for me, the highlight of the album.
So, whether you're a die-hard Zeppelin fan or you've never listened to a note, buy "Dreamland" and wonder at the magic of a truly extraordinary artist.
Why? More reasons than is possible to explain.
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on 19 July 2002
Deborah Hicks, a reviewer above says it all really. A stunning piece of music. What stands out for a truly incredible artist is that you don't even notice that there are cover versions on the albums because they are materpieces in their own right. Each carrying their own stamp of individuality. I gave 'Clarksdales' a brief visit because 'Fate of nations' was such a hard act to follow. Probably the most underrated album of the 90's.' Funny in my mind'typifies what life's pains harbour to our loved ones on leaving this strange place and ' Darkness Darkness' ranks up there with most Led Zep epics. There are few artists that have produced consistently well as time marches on but Dreamland for me is like a breathing fresh air again. Whew enough said!
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on 19 May 2014
I wholeheartedly admire Robert Plant for the way he has conducted himself since the demise of Led Zep. He has taken risks, explored the roots of his music and branched out into interesting new areas. All this, while mostly (I haven't forgotten that sort of lukewarm disco period.) remaining true to his musical values. This is him exploring, but the music is easier to admire than to like.

Given who Plant is working with here, one desperately wants it to be successful. But it isn't. The melodies are missing and the work seems heavy and laborious. It took the wonderful Alison Krauss to put a real spring in Robert's step. I see this record as the great man feeling his way towards the serendipitous meeting with Alison in T Bone's studio when they raised sand.

If you don't own "Raising Sand", buy that. If you do, you might like this, but don't expect too much.
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VINE VOICEon 21 January 2003
An album of cover versions in which Plant tackles songs by those who influenced him - Hendrix, Tim Buckley, Skip Spence, Bob Dylan and a selection of old blues numbers. This is inevitably a bit of a mixed bag. Things perhaps not surprisingly work best with the more blues based tracks; Morning Due / Darkness Darkness, and not so well when he moves into territory his voice doesn't suite so well e.g. One More Cup Of Coffee.
It an interesting album which will hopefully send people out to trackdown some of the originals which is perhaps at least some of the point. However, the production tends a little towards the bland and much of this drifts by pleasantly but unexciting. I can't see why anyone would play this in preference to his better solo stuff; Manic Nirvana, Fate of Nations, or anything by Led Zepplin.
Plant is still in fine voice and having got this one out of his system hopefully his next album will see a return to his own songwriting.
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