Robert Plant – Carry Fire album review: The more you listen, the better it gets

Carry Fire
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Artist: Robert Plant
Genre: Alternative
Label: Nonesuch

I’ve never bought into most of Robert Plant’s lyrical caprices but his musical adventures, well that’s another story. Here he is at 69, stretching himself with his take on east/west and north/south.

His understanding and empathy with American roots music is a given. Similarly, his feeling for British folk. Ditto his abiding interest in African music and eastern rhythm.

Stir the lot with his intuitive understanding of rock ’n’ roll dynamics and you have this intriguing album, brooding, mysterious, full-blooded, fascinating. Electric and eclectic. The more you listen, the more you hear.

His band, the Sensational Space Shapers, are in expansive form augmented by Seth Lakeman (violin) and cellist Redi Hasa. Chrissie Hynde duets with Plant on a powerful cover of Ersel Hickey's Bluebirds Over the Mountain, while the title track, Bones of Saints and The May Queen are standouts. Impressive.