CD Reviews: Robert Plant with Alison Kraus and Pat Monahan

I hope you have enjoyed my week of catching up with CD reviews. You may not agree with my ratings or musical taste, but hopefully you could find a title or two out of this project that may have interested you.

Robert Plant and Alison Kraus- Raising Sand

What an interesting combination. A country/bluegrass singer and an aging rocker. It turned my eyebrows when I first heard about it. Last year, we had an excellent duet CD with Mark Knopfler/Emmy Lou Harris and I was hoping for more of the same magic. This CD comes up a bit short in comparison. The sound on this CD is very low key as Robert Plant does not let his rocker side come through here. If anything, there is more of a country feel to this release and the pairing of the two distinct vocal styles is pleasing. Also know that not every song on this CD is a duet. About half the CD is duets and the other half has each artist taking turns with the other doing backgrounds. “Killing the Blues” is a warm, almost floating song, but on “Polly Comes Home” Robert Plant is so relaxed that he almost sounds asleep. Things get lively again on “Gone, Gone, Gone (You Done Me Wrong)” and the country ballad by Kraus “Through the Morning, Through The Night” is a gem with Plant harmonizing in the background. Plant redeems himself with the catchy “Please Read The Letter” which is my favorite on this CD. “Nothin” is as close as you will get hearing Plant resemble his Zeppelin days with a mix of guitars, violin and tambourine with a driving beat. Kraus’s “Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson” is something we should all remember and “The Long Journey” is a nice Bluegrass duet to end this CD. This is a CD good for Sunday mornings and quiet time, but for me, it never reaches that next level to make it a great CD.
7 out of 10

Pat Monahan- Last of Seven

Are you familiar with the band Train?, Pat is their lead singer and this is his first solo effort. The Cd starts off with “Her Eyes” which is a nice bouncy tune filled with a lot of lyrical rhymes. I am impressed with the strong vocals in “Two Ways To Say Goodbye”. The next cut, “Cowboys and Indians” is a nice ballad with a message about all of us getting along. “Raise Your Hands” is a gospel inspired tune that shows Pat is more than just a rock band singer. “Almost Midnight” is a beautiful ballad with Pat mostly just accompanied by a piano.” Great Escape” is another thoughtful ballad that showcases Pat’s vocal talents, while “Ripple In The Water” reminds us that Pat can rock. “Girlfriend” is a soulful,funky song that shows Pat’s range. The CD finishes off with “Shine” where Pat stretches out his vocals as he goes back and forth between a gospel inspired tune to a smoldering rocker. All in all, a wonderful first solo effort worth a listen.
8 out of 10

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~ by thedark2 on October 26, 2007.

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