Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Raising Sand
(Rounder Records)

On the surface, a musical collaboration between two such seemingly polar opposite talents as Americana/bluegrass goddess Alison Krauss and shouting, yowling Robert Plant is mind-boggling. But under producer/bassist T-Bone Burnett's direction, there's no superstardom at play here, just a cadre of singularly talented people painting something novel, interesting, and completely alien to the normal, calculated, commercial processes. Plant sings with an unsuspected subtlety and mesmerizing prettiness, while Burnett's eclectic selection of material allows Krauss to step completely out of character and let her voice soar from Edith Piaf to the Everly Brothers. Her amazing vocal on "Trampled Rose" is at once beautiful and hauntingly dramatic, and Plant's greatness rings through in a brilliant remake of the Brit-rock classic "Fortune Teller." On rockabilly burners like the Everlys' "Gone, Gone, Gone" or beautifully crafted folk obscurities like "Killing the Blues," Krauss and Plant virtually redefine duet, or at least render a definitive modern example. Laid over Burnett's drum-centric arrangements and adventurous rhythms, their hypnotic harmonies reverberate long after this brilliant record is over.
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Pier Johnson
Pier Johnson

You can listen to all songs from the recording here .

Has-been and former cat-screeching frontman for Led Spinal Tap (see the 2007 O2 show on Youtube) tries to glom onto Alison Krauss, someone who can sing.

This recording fails in many ways.

T-Bone Burnett tries to mash up the sounds of post-Led Spinal Tap Plant/Page efforts "Walking into Clarksdale", "No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded" with the gentle singing of Alison Krauss.

The duets do not work as the womanish Plant overpowers Krauss, musch in the way an older, uglier sister overpowers the younger prettier one.

Plant could never sing much less write a song. Alison Krauss takes a giant step backward by letting Plant ride her coattails.

This recording shows the many failings of the Pop Music Industry. Save your money.

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