Album Review: Carry Fire by Robert Plant

Posted by Bianca on Friday Oct 13, 2017 Under Album Review

Review by Toni Woodward

Considering his status in the music world, it would be easy for Robert Plant to rest on his Led Zeppelin laurels and make the occasional outing to perform, yet, Plant has continued to explore the realms of world music with a number of different artists in tow.

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His latest offering, Carry Fire, is not that dissimilar to his most recent works in that he has maintained his band Sensational Shape Shifters whilst incorporating global influences and utilised the vocal skills of Chrissie Hynde on a track. However, that is not to say that Carry Fire should be dismissed as Plant has produced a selection of lyrically sensitive and melodically comforting songs.

At various points, unsurprisingly, you are reminded of Zeppelin songs that had a folk edge especially in the opening track The May Queen that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside Ramble On and Seasonal Song which utilises the interplay between acoustic and electric guitar. The title track maximises Robert Plant’s exploration into Arabic instrumentation and scales as his vocal line remains tender whilst expressing the pain that emotional attachment can produce.

Carry Fire flows beautifully from A Way With Words, an achingly beautiful piano based song that alludes at times to the album’s movement into Eastern hemisphere with the inclusion of the strings playing a minor ascent. The album isn’t solely comprised of gentle tracks, Bones Of Saints unleashes Plant’s political disgust underpinned by a pacey blues riff which develops through a guitar solo and allows Robert’s trademark wail to please your ears as only he knows how.

Towards the end of the album, there is an experiment with electronica, Keep It Hid wouldn’t be so out of place on a Tricky album whereas Bluebirds Of The Mountain illustrates how Plant can combine traditional folk with a repetitive sample and the contrasting vocal qualities of himself and Hynde’s deep husky drawl. As an album, Carry Fire won’t initially hit you as either groundbreaking or awesome but it is intriguing, making you want to listen more, and, the more enchanted you become with its elegance and sophistication. I am truly excited to see how Robert Plant and Sensational Shape Shifters will translate this album to the live arena.

Carry Fire, is released today on Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records.

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Photo Credit: Mads Perch

UK and Irish Tour Dates:

NOVEMBER

Thurs 16th – Plymouth, Pavilions
Fri 17th – Bristol, Colston Hall
Mon 20th – Wolverhampton, Civic
Wed 22nd – Llandudno, Venue Cymru
Fri 24th – Newcastle, City Hall
Sat 25th – Liverpool, Olympia
Mon 27th – Glasgow, SEC Armadillo
Tues 28th – Perth, Concert Hall
Thurs 30th – Manchester, O2 Apollo

DECEMBER

Sat 2nd – Belfast, Ulster Hall
Sun 3rd – Dublin, Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Weds 6th – Sheffield, City Hall
Fri 8th – London, Royal Albert Hall
Mon 11th – Portsmouth, Guildhall
Tues 12th – Birmingham, Symphony Hall

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