Robert Plant Lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar
Robert Plant’s relentless creative resurgence continues unabated on Lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar, a stellar solo album featuring his diverse new band, a collective that includes musicians well-versed in world music, dub and Brit-pop. Accordingly, the record downplays rock ’n’ roll signifiers (although “Turn It Up” sounds as if Tom Waits attempted to capture Zeppelin’s dirty junkyard blues, and “Rainbow” and “Somebody There” feature lovely, elegiac arpeggios) and elevates hypnotic electronic drone, vibrant global rhythms and pastoral folk instrumentation. Plant himself almost disappears, sounding like a shivering, ghostly version of Bowie on “Embrace Another Fall” and a broken man on the heartbreak-burdened standout “House of Love,” which utilizes jangly guitars and orchestral flourishes. In the end, his restraint only enhances the music; there’s no shortage of passion and strength beneath this vulnerability.