By Laurel Brown
Calling all Zeppelin fans!
Renowned singer and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant has released a brand new solo album! Released on October 12, his album Carry Fire stays true to the bluesy, ballad-style singing that landed Plant in one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.
This, he claims, is due to his return to Britain and his roots after living in Austin, Texas for many years. Why did he suddenly return home? “It was my own inability to deal with the rabid attention that was paid to me – and there was kind of no way to hide it,” he told Independent.
Opening with the song “The May Queen,” Carry Fire has all the elements of the twangy rock and mountain music Zeppelin was known for, with more of a Plant-centered twist. His lyrics carry narrative forms and are delivered in a half-rasp, half-screech of emotion, backed by layered guitars and echoing vocal effects that give Plant a transcendent sound. This album is a pure fusion of blues and rock, of soul and folk.
One of the strongest tracks on the album, “New World…”, calls for freedom and a return to organic coexistence, driven by quiet guitar rips and gentle percussion. “I don’t think I write to suite anybody,” Plant said of his lyrics. “I just write to suit my mood.”
“Heaven Sent”, my personal favorite, leads in with solemn violins and weepy, reverbed guitar notes drawn out to create an eerie, haunting sound. Plant’s voice drifts across the song, whispering hints of despair and a broken heart: “Now shadows fall, the hour is late/ Still hear your songs and time won’t wait/ Once heaven sent above the world an eagle and a dove.”
One of the songs on the album called “Carving Up the World Again… A Wall Not a Fence” even makes a strongly political statement, using rhetoric from both President Trump and post-Brexit issues. The title itself, in fact, is a portion of a quote from Trump regarding the refugee crisis. “There’s progress in many areas of humanity, but it’s juxtaposed with doors slamming and pain,” Plant said.
Living in America, Plant revealed, was a great experience. “It was one of the most rewarding, classic periods of my life. And it was just such a tear to leave America and return to Britain,” he said.
Now, back in Britain, he is ready to perform his new material. Fractured hip hop beats mask funky synthesizers on Carry Fire and, when paired with his lyrics of contradicting hope and despair, these songs breathe a new kind of life to the musical community.
As for a future Led Zeppelin reunion? Plant told Independent that probably was not in the cards. “I’m in the middle of my own joy. I don’t need anything else.”