What sets Robert Plant apart from many of his contemporaries is his refusal to put himself, or his work, on a pedestal. This is one old rocker who’s happy to get his hands dirty in his pursuit of new tales to tell. His latest album carries the audacious title of Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar, and it is yet another powerful entry into an already impressive body of work. Robert Plant is here to prove that you can never count out the old dogs.
Every track on the album is adorned with banjos, tablas, bendirs, djembe, and all manner of exotic instruments. ‘Little Maggie’ enchants from the very first bar while ‘Embrace Another Fall’ is a world tour of fragmented blues concepts given an entirely new spin. Even the more traditional “western” sounding songs retain a sense of that earthy weirdness. At first glance ‘Turn It Up’ might appear to be a stock-standard rocker, right up until the industrial grind worms in and flips it on its head.
The best tracks on the album are the ones where the atypical instruments combine with the pulsating heartbeat of modernity and Plant’s own bruised sense of soul. It might seem worlds away from his Grammy-winning turn on Raising Sand but there is a sense of fellowship that runs through all of his work. Lullaby And … The Ceaseless Roar is a portrait of a bona fide legend in a constant state of reinvention, made all the more endearing by its strangeness and purposeful flaws.