Dreamland

Dreamland

3.6 9
by Robert Plant
     
 

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While most of his peers have succumbed to the lure of the nostalgia circuit, Robert Plant has shown a winning resistance to rehashing past glories. Yes, he's done the Page & Plant dog-and-pony show from time to time, but as evidenced by Dreamland -- his first solo effort in nearly a decade -- the golden-tressed singer still seemsSee more details below

Overview

While most of his peers have succumbed to the lure of the nostalgia circuit, Robert Plant has shown a winning resistance to rehashing past glories. Yes, he's done the Page & Plant dog-and-pony show from time to time, but as evidenced by Dreamland -- his first solo effort in nearly a decade -- the golden-tressed singer still seems more comfortable on the edge than in the middle of the road. Most of the album's 11 songs are covers, but only a couple of them come from sources that might be expected, like blues legend Bukka White's "Funny in My Mind (I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die)." For the rest of the disc, Plant takes on decidedly challenging material, such as Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren," which is shot through by the spine-tingling Middle Eastern playing of former Cure guitarist Porl Thompson. Strange Sensation, the group that's backed Plant on several tours over the past half decade, alternate between moody subtleties (a tense version of "Morning Dew," a much-covered tune made most famous by the Grateful Dead) and adrenalized garage-rock (represented by a tough take on the Leaves' "Hey Joe"). Plant follows suit, gliding between a low-key purr (his rendition of Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee") and his trademark blues yowl (a radical revamp of "Big Boy" Crudup's "Train Fare Blues"). Chalk this up as strong evidence that creative life can indeed begin at -- or flourish past -- 50.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
At their best, cover albums have a strange way of galvanizing an artist by returning to the songs that inspired them; the artists can find the reason why they made music in the first place, perhaps finding a new reason to make music. Robert Plant's Dreamland -- his first solo album in nearly ten years and one of the best records he's ever done, either as a solo artist or as a member of Led Zeppelin -- fulfills that simple definition of a covers album and goes beyond it, finding Plant sounding reinvigorated and as restless as a new artist. Part of the reason why this album works so well is that he has a new band -- not a group of supporting musicians, but a real band that can challenge him because they tap into the same eerie, post-folk mysticism that fueled Led Zeppelin III, among other haunting moments in the Zep catalog. Another reason why this album works so well is that it finds the band working from a similar aesthetical point as classic Zeppelin, who, at their peak, often reinterpreted and extrapolated their inspirations, piecing them together to create something startlingly original. That's the spirit here, most explicitly on the blues medley Win My Train Fare Home (If I Ever Get Lucky), but also throughout the record, as he offers radical reinventions of such cult favorites like Bob Dylan's One More Cup of Coffee, Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren, and the Youngbloods' Darkness, Darkness, along with such staples as I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die and Hey Joe. What's amazing about this album is that it as adventurous and forward-thinking -- perhaps even more so -- as anything he's ever done. He's abandoned the synthesizers that have distinguished each of his solo albums and replaced them with a restless, searching band that pushes every one of these songs past conventional expectations (and, in the case of the two strong originals, they make the new tunes sound as one with the covers). Dreamland rarely sounds like Led Zeppelin, but its spirit is pure Zeppelin; this, in a sense, is what he was trying to do with the Page and Plant albums -- find a way back into the mystic by blending folk, worldbeat, blues, rock, and experimentalism into music that is at once grounded in the past and ceaselessly moving forward. He might have co-authored only two pieces here, but Dreamland is a fully realized product of his own vision -- as unpredictable and idiosyncratic, as fulfilling and full of mystery as anything he's ever released.
Rolling Stone - J.D. Considine
Restraint is what ultimately illuminates this album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/20/2007
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0731458696223
catalogNumber:
5002996
Rank:
61047

Tracks

  1. Funny in My Mind (I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die)
  2. Morning Dew
  3. One More Cup of Coffee
  4. Last Time I Saw Her
  5. Song to the Siren
  6. Win My Train Fare Home
  7. Darkness, Darkness
  8. Red Dress
  9. Hey Joe
  10. Skip's Song

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Plant   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ginny Clee   Background Vocals
Clive Deamer   Percussion,Drums
Porl Thompson   Guitar
Bob Cole   Pedal Steel Guitar
John Baggot   Percussion,Drums,Keyboards
Charlie Jones   Bass,Bass Guitar
Raj Das   Background Vocals
Justin Adams   Guitar,Darbouka,Gimbri

Technical Credits

Gordon Lightfoot   Composer
Robert Plant   Producer,Concept,Audio Production
Roy Williams   Direction
Phil Brown   Audio Production
Andie Airfix   Artwork
John Baggot   String Arrangements
André Thompson   Direction
Phill Brown   Producer,Engineer
Joe Spix   Artwork

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