Home Read Classic Album Review: Robert Plant | Dreamland

Classic Album Review: Robert Plant | Dreamland

The Led Zep refugee shows he’s a long way from the classic-rock scrap heap.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Let’s face it: Almost nobody can stay fresh in the same job for 35 years. Not even rock ’n’ rollers.

But at an age when most of his contemporaries have given up the ghost and jumped on the nostalgia-tour bandwagon, former Led Zep shrieker Robert Plant shows he’s a long way from the classic-rock scrap heap with his entrancing new effort Dreamland, his first recording since 1998’s Jimmy Page collaboration Walking into Clarksdale — and first true solo album since ’93’s limp Fate of Nations. Returning to the acoustic-based, bluesy pop of his youth — but interweaving it with the smouldering world music influences he picked up during his tenure with Zep and the keyboards and loops of electronica — the 52-year-old Plant offers up a 10-track slate of revamped classic blues (Hey Joe), updated folksinger troubadourism (Bob Dylan’s One More Cup of Coffee, Tim Buckley’s Song To The Siren) and sweaty, groove-heavy originals (Last Time I Saw Her, Red Dress) that are as memorable as anything he’s done in his post-Zep career. Sure, his huskier, mellower voice doesn’t have the same nasal squeal is once did. But even if his pipes are a little rustier after 35 years — and even if it’s been a long time since he rock ’n’ rolled — Plant’s obvious enthusiasm and joy for music-making are still more than adequate to get the job done right.