Album: Robert Plant & the Strange Sensation

Mighty Rearranger, SANCTUARY
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The Independent Culture

Infusing the ethnic-influenced stylings of 2002's Dreamland with a sizeable electric charge, Mighty Rearranger is undoubtedly Robert Plant's best work since Led Zeppelin's halcyon years, the singer drawing together the strands of his musical history - blues, folk, psychedelia and world music - and splicing them together. More impressive yet, he's also managed to find a way of yoking his penchant for mysticism to an angry political consciousness in songs such as "Freedom Fries" and "Another Tribe", where he contemplates religious war as "every saint and small-town saviour race to justify their chosen one". Musically, his band gels more solidly here than ever before, with rough ethnic textures of percussion blended seamlessly with country-blues in "Somebody Knocking"; and noodling organ sundered dramatically by huge riffing guitars in "Tin Pan Valley", wherein he turns his back on the shallow business of celebrity for some "higher ground". It's a theme pursued on the album's best track, "All The King's

Infusing the ethnic-influenced stylings of 2002's Dreamland with a sizeable electric charge, Mighty Rearranger is undoubtedly Robert Plant's best work since Led Zeppelin's halcyon years, the singer drawing together the strands of his musical history - blues, folk, psychedelia and world music - and splicing them together. More impressive yet, he's also managed to find a way of yoking his penchant for mysticism to an angry political consciousness in songs such as "Freedom Fries" and "Another Tribe", where he contemplates religious war as "every saint and small-town saviour race to justify their chosen one". Musically, his band gels more solidly here than ever before, with rough ethnic textures of percussion blended seamlessly with country-blues in "Somebody Knocking"; and noodling organ sundered dramatically by huge riffing guitars in "Tin Pan Valley", wherein he turns his back on the shallow business of celebrity for some "higher ground". It's a theme pursued on the album's best track, "All The King's Horses", where Plant celebrates his aesthetic rebirth: "I pour myself a brand new start, glad to be falling for the beauty within". Would that more of his colleagues felt so vital.

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