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Product Carry Fire

Carry Fire

artist Robert Plant

Recording information: Billy Fuller's Home Studio, Bristol; Black Earth Studios, Bath; Real World Studios, Box; Rockfield Studios, Monmouth; Sarm; The Attic Studio, Bristol; The Bee Barn, Bala; The Timberyard, London; Top Cat Studio.
Photographers: Frank Melfi; Jay Blakesberg; Oli Powell.
Robert Plant opens Carry Fire with "The May Queen," a song that can't help but stir up memories of "Stairway to Heaven," the most mystical number Led Zeppelin ever cut. "The May Queen" doesn't sound a thing like "Stairway to Heaven," which is deliberate. As Plant murmurs about "the dimming of his light," the churning folk-rock -- a rootless, restless gypsy hybrid of American, English, and Middle East traditions -- comes to crest upon a violin line that appears to quote "Prodigal Son," a gospel blues attributed to Robert Wilkins. It's hard not to read this as a sly wink to the audience, a suggestion that Plant, after years of rambling, has returned to where he belongs. Such suspicions are underscored by the fact that Carry Fire is Plant's first album in over a decade where he's retained the same supporting crew, recording once again with the Sensational Space Shifters, the same outfit who backed him on lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar. Where that 2014 record carried a cataclysmic undercurrent -- his return to England bore the full weight of mortality -- Carry Fire is so casual it can even get loud. Guitars ricochet throughout "New World," a slice of hard mysticism that evokes the spacier elements of Zeppelin even as it consciously chooses the spiritual over the carnal. Despite Plant's clear favor of the heart and head over primal pleasures, Carry Fire retains a visceral kick, because the singer/songwriter understands the transportive power of music, how the old can seem new when seen with a different light. Take "Bluebirds Over the Mountain," an obscure 45 from the obscure rockabilly singer Ersel Hickey: It was written and recorded in 1958 and cut a decade later by the Beach Boys, but here it sounds as eternal as a mountain spring, a song that was never composed, but rather always existed. Plant surrounds "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" with songs that are equally ageless: Their bones feel old yet the sound is fresh, even if the record makes no concessions to modernity. Carry Fire also doesn't concede to how Plant once wielded tradition as a bludgeon, since every moment of the album is underplayed. Subtlety, once a word never associated with Plant, is now his greatest
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Performer: Robert Plant
Produced by: Robert Plant
Engineered by: Justin Adams / John Baggott / Ben Findlay
Skin Tyson / Billy Fuller
Record Label: Nonesuch (USA)
Original Release Year: 2017
Format: Compact Discs
Number of Disc: 1
Recording Mode: Stereo
Run Time: 49 minutes
ISBN: 6317059292 / 9786317059290
UPC: 075597934939 / 00075597934939
Genres: Blues
Blues

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