Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant’s solo effort Band of Joy was one of my Top Albums of 2010. Rounder Records is offering a free, legal mp3 of “Central Two-0-Nine” from the album, which you can download by entering your email address into the widget below.
Mp3 Widget Provided by Big Hassle PR on behalf of Rounder Records
Robert Plant Spring Tour Dates:
April 8 – Louisville, KY – The Palace
April 9: – Chicago, IL – The Auditorium Theatre
April 11 – Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Ballroom
April 12 – Minneapolis, MN – The State Theatre
April 15 – Hollywood, FL – Hard Rock Live Arena
April 17 – Vancouver, BC – The Queen Elizabeth Theater
April 19 – Portland, OR – The Schnitzer
April 20: – Seattle, WA – The Paramount
April 22 – Berkeley, CA – The Greek
April 23 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek
April 25 – Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara Bowl
April 27 – Denver, CO – The Fillmore
It’s that time again! Following are my Top 25 Albums of 2010. Like ’em or not, these are the albums I’ve personally enjoyed and listened to most often in the past year. Click on the album titles to read the full reviews, purchase the albums, and, in some cases, download mp3s…
*Honorable mention to Florence + the Machine’s Lungs, which would have been #2 on this list had it been released this year.
“…I was so excited to see Sheila Nicholls name on a new press release!…genre-hopping…moody experience…Sheila’s lovely vocals drive every song“
“…sultry and atmospheric…blends mellow electro-pop melodies with ambient beats beneath new lead singer Lisa Milberg’s whisper soft vocals“
“…a step back from the pop-rock endeavors of recent decades in favor of a multi-instrumental style…perfect display of Ann’s astounding vocal power and Nancy’s searing guitar riffs.“
“…The deep resonance of Warner’s cello is juxtaposed and intertwined with the emotive peels of Nuzova’s piano, resulting in a sound full of somber beauty and classical romance.“
“…loud, exhilarating, wailing punk rockers…a spectacular cacophony of ferocious growls, frenzied shrieks, scorching guitar licks and tempestuous rhythm“
“…a collection of subtle folk-influenced melodies and pretty, infectious pop fleshed out with innovative arrangements and all wrapped up in Brooke’s warm voice“
“…churns atmospheric retro pop-rock with modern rock riffs, handclap percussion, and girl group harmony. The result is somewhere between The Zombies and The Shangri-Las.“
“…With the help of his backing band The 3DVB’s and his The Office co-star Ed Helms, Creed has made an unusual, funny, funky, and all around awesome album.“
Creed Bratton – Rubber Tree (mp3)*
“…an almost perfect marriage of Robert Plant’s psychedelic sway and Buddy Miller’s freight train of rocked up Americana“
“…The combination of that kind of sweetly self-deprecating humor and Danielle’s clear, warm voice along with some very pretty acoustic melodies make this album a charmer.“
“…Whether you’re a classical aficionado or simply enjoy pretty instrumental music, this lovely album is definitely one to try…Simply put, The Nightingale in Love is beautiful. So very beautiful.“
“…an album everyone should hear…strong artistic integrity combined with an exquisitely exotic voice and elegant melodies give Sade’s music a rare grace and beauty.“
“…an excellent mix of infectious pop melodies and singer-songwriter acoustics…Her multi-faceted voice effortlessly flows from impressive Divaesque acrobatics to a warmer, relaxed charm reminiscent of classic Carole King.“
“…brimming with a heady mix of Celtic and folk instrumentation…Loreena’s supernatural soprano is on gorgeous display“
“…tribute to 1980s pop icons Hall & Oates is no parody, instead this is a sincere and happy homage to one of my favorite guilty pleasure bands…the perfect soundtrack for summer.“
“…a wide variety of charming, serene covers by various indie acts…The entire Sing Me To Sleep album flows together to create a lovely, gentle mood.“
“…one of the most excellent, enjoyable rock albums I’ve heard in years…infectious but substantial rock – settled delciously somewhere between arena and roots.“
“…Her voice flawlessly flows between the most pristine soprano and gut-wrenching, full-bodied wails…I hear Allison Crowe sing, and I remember the effect music is supposed to have on you.“
“…pristinely pretty…Sparse arrangements are coupled with poetic lyrics full of scenic imagery and bittersweet emotion – all carried by the lovely soprano of Karen Peris.“
“…If Moreland & Arbuckle’s upcoming album Flood is any indication, 2010 is gonna be a great year for music…this mix of Delta blues, folk, country, soul, and rock is one wild ride.“
“…another collection of airy, retro-styled pop songs fleshed out with folk instrumenation…a breezy pop soundtrack for summer.“
“…like a collaboration between Kate Bush and Lady Gaga. Mainstream pop fans will definitely enjoy this disc, as will those searching for catchy tunes with lyrical substance.“
“…Conceptually and musically, this multi-facted, genre-mashing masterpiece has everything you could want in an album and then some. And Janelle’s supernatural vocal range is as chameleonic as the songs she sings.“
“…Xavier Rudd is my favorite artist, full stop…yet another breathtaking masterpiece that’s sure to land Xavier Rudd at the top of my year end list again.“
“…transforms the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice into a post-apocalyptic American fable with Depression era style and indie-folk sensibility. This gorgeous, exciting project reminds me why I love music so much and why I love writing about music so much.”
*all mp3s hosted by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps
Best known as the former frontman of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant’s recent delvings into country and folk may seem an odd choice for the seminal rocker. However, Plant’s genre-crossing experiments will come as no surprise to those familiar with Zep’s affinity for folk-blues – particularly their cover of the traditional “Gallow’s Pole.” Following his successful Raising Sand collaboration with bluegrass darling Allison Krauss, Plant teemed up with folk star turned producer Buddy Miller for his new solo album, Band of Joy.
An almost perfect marriage of Robert Plant’s psychedelic sway and Buddy Miller’s freight train of rocked up Americana, the aptly titled Band of Joy features the backing band of Miller, Patty Griffin, Bekka Bramlett and Darrell Scott.
A rhythmic interpretation of Los Lobos’s “Angel Dance” opens the album with slinky bluegrass instrumentation snaking through a thunderous blues-rock clamor and clang.
The moody wailer “House of Cards” follows and is greatly enhanced by the backing howls of Patty Griffin and Bekka Bramlett.
“Central Two-O-Nine” sounds like an old-fashioned folk ballad, but is a new original Plant co-penned with Buddy Miller.
The new Plant/Miller arrangement of the traditional song “Cindy, I’ll Marry You Someday” is spectacular, but Plant’s deadpan vocal delivery lacks the spirit necessary to carry the repetitive chorus.
The retro pop style of “You Can’t Buy My Love” and The Kelly Brothers cover “Falling In Love Again” are also an ill fit for Plant’s voice. Rather than resurrecting the ironic charm of his Honeydrippers era, Plant simply sounds like he’s singing his age and he really shouldn’t. Yet these are the only flaws in this diamond of an album.
The ominous, driving rhythm of “Monkey” and the chillingly sparse rendering of traditional folk ballad “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” are much better settings for his unusual voice.
Overall, Band of Joy is a worthy successor to Raising Sand and I look forward to hearing the wonders Plant has in store for us in the future.
The SoundCloud.com stream of “Angel Dance”, which was uploaded with the explicit permission of Rounder Records, has been removed due to false infringement claim filed with Soundcloud.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand album just won five Grammys, including “Record of the Year” and “Album of the Year”…which is odd since it was released almost two years ago. It’s strange how time changes your perception of music. The album was only #7 on my Top Albums of 2007 list and my track-by-track review was certainly favorable but not raving, yet it’s the album I’ve listened to most in the past couple of years and I find it even more charming with each listen. I hope the rumors of a sequel are true!