Robert Plant

Band of Joy (Rounder)

Phases & Stages

Robert Plant

Band of Joy (Rounder)

Without co-star Alison Krauss or marquee Texan producer T Bone Burnett, Robert Plant's latest solo outing suffers the expected sequel slump. Band of Joy lacks the subtle grace and evocative restraint of 2007's Raising Sand, even as local ringer Patty Griffin's lilting harmony tops Richard Thompson's "House of Cards" and the stellar Townes Van Zandt encore "Harm's Swift Way." There are two notable exceptions, Low's solemn "Silver Rider" and gothic "Monkey," that transport the Zep frontman to his time of dying, a slow motion apocalypse that even at a whisper evinces the Judgment Day catharsis of Alan Sparhawk's Retribution Gospel Choir. For the most part, however, the 62-year-old singer settles for mediocrity ("You Can't Buy My Love," "Cindy I'll Marry You Someday"), and the lonesome ranger gallop of "The Only Sound That Matters" won't make a household name out of Milton Mapes' Greg Vanderpool anytime soon. The sole original, "Central Two-O-Nine," never quite makes it to the gallows pole between Plant's Brit-folk and the Appalachian Americana of co-writer/co-producer Buddy Miller, whose echo guitar oversaturates the otherwise playful Canterbury tale "Angel Dance." Like Griffin's own 2010 gospel LP, Downtown Church, Plant takes on the traditional "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down" as if he's heard the calling but is not yet ready to fully stand up to the challenge.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Robert Plant
Rock & Roll Books
Robert Plant: A Life
Robert Plant's now been a solo artists longer than he was frontman for hard rock's fab four

Michael Toland, Dec. 6, 2013

Playback: In a New York State of Mind
Playback: In a New York State of Mind
Mother Falcon hits Gotham, Not in the Face sears Vancouver, and Black Joe Lewis comes home

Kevin Curtin, June 21, 2013

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Light'n Up (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, June 14, 2019

The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

More by Austin Powell
Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Oregon fest boasts IPAs, ATXs, camping, and sustainability

Aug. 4, 2014


Robert Plant

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle