Monday, January 31, 2011

Musical Mondays: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Okay, so here's a new installment for you: Musical Mondays! Lame title but the idea is that (hopefully) every Monday I'll post a review of an artist, band, etc, giving you my thoughts on them. Either from my own eclectic range of artists on my iPod, or one of you can submit and artist you'd like to see me review (at Either way, hopefully this'll be a permanent segment here and I can show off so new artists to you guys and get to know some of your favorite artists as well! 

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss                                                        

1.  Rich Woman                                                  7.  Please Read the Letter          13.  Your Long Journey
2.  Killing the blues                                             8.  Trampled Rose
3.  Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us                        9.  Fortune Teller
4. Polly Come Home                                          10.  Stick With Me Baby  
5. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)             11.   Nothin'    
6. Through The Morning, Through the Night    12.   Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson

     So, my first artist, or in this case artists, that I'm reviewing are Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Most of you would have heard of Robert Plant if you've ever listened to Led Zeppelin before, and if you haven't heard of Led Zeppelin, then you've been living under a rock.  *crickets*
               ANYWAY, Robert Plant was the leading vocals in the well known band Led Zeppelin whose moved into many other areas of music with his career and Alison Krauss is a hugely successful bluegrass-country singer. Not usually a combination one would think of but apparently these two are good friends and their collaboration album is certainly good, if not great.  

             It's called Raising Sands  and it's certainly become one of my favorite albums for 2011. I wasn't expecting such an odd array of genres on this album. Each track is deliciously unique and some are downright *strange* in compariosn to the others, though to me strange is a relative term. For example, if you know me, you know my undying love for artist Tom Waits. Hopefully, he'll be one of the artists I review next but, be forewarned: he's not for everyone. He tends to have freakish lyrics, strange rhythms and his vocals are guttural, gravelly, and rough. But strange is the term used most often. in describing his later stuff anyway.  How does this relate to Raising Sands? Well, two particular tracks, called Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us, and Trampled Rose both have that strange quality that I found in Tom Waits' style recording.  

Above I've posted the links to the two tracks and you can see that Alison Krauss has ethereal vocals in both of them and sort of nonsensical lyrics as well. For me it invokes sort of foggy imagery, skeleton trees, gypsy caravans, crumbling gothic churches, ravens, cold rain, clanking lanterns, dirty tarot cards, and just an overall mystical, creepy listening experience. But, coincidentally, that there second track Trampled Rose, was originally written by none other Tom Waits! So obviously, Plant and Krauss had the same ideas I did. 

           Now, don't be thinking that the only tracks on here are raw, foreign enigmas. Plant and Krauss will do you one better than that. There are several tracks on here that are up-beat, have great rhythm and are just fabulous listening. My favorites are Fortune Teller, which is essentially a story telling song with a slow burning sort of rhythm, and Plant still has a kick-ass voice, though it's not as raw as it was when he was singing in Led Zeppelin. But hey! That man is 62, and he's doing damn well in his career. The other track I just love is Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On). This is so upbeat and I can't not jump around my room when I hear it. And I bet my new Sennheiser HD 408's that you will too.       

        However, I don't love every track on this album. Now, again, if you know me, you know I hate most country and bluegrass. Ick. If someone starts playing Taylor Swift I could hang myself with her perfectly, blond, ringlet-ed hair. And though the tracks on this album aren't as mind-blowingly gross as Ms.Swift's, they're not my favorite's for sure.  But on that point, I'm not saying that there are other people who wouldn't enjoy them, because they are impeccably recorded (far more artful and meaningful than Taylor Swift, that's for sure) and they are beautiful to listen to, but, they're not my particular style, being the music snob that I am.

Overall, I LOVE this album and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's a great collaboration between two artists who are fantastic as individual singers as well and in Raising Sands their voices blend smoothly and each track (no matter if it's to your taste or not) has obviously been well thought out.

Favorite TracksRich Woman, Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us, Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On), Trampled Rose, Fortune Teller, and Stick With Me Baby

Overall: 4/5

Think they're worth listening to or what? 


  1. Cool! I'll check them out : )

  2. They sound really neat- and I love discovering new music!

    One thing though: The new font is REALLY difficult to read as it's very small- you might try making it a bit bigger.

  3. @ Luinae- I noticed that too, but I fixed now so it should be easier to read. Thanks for telling me! :)


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