Rising Sand collaborators Plant and Krauss inspire a game of musical pairs

After listening to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' unlikely collaboration, Raising Sand, we couldn't help philosophizing about what other artists we'd like to see record together. We had rules, though, as all good lists should have. Whatever pairings we came up with would have to be, like Plant and Krauss, separated by generations and, more importantly, musical genres.

BOB DYLAN & TRENT REZNOR

Reason: You know what happened when Dylan went electric. Imagine how people would react if he went electronic.

We suggest . . . keeping it organic. Dylan is brilliant even when he's underwhelming, and the same goes for Reznor. Let's just see what happens when two of the most vital musical voices of their generations find themselves in a recording studio together.

NEIL DIAMOND & AMY LEE

Reason: He's relentlessly happy even when he's being sad; she's relentlessly miserable even when she's holding a puppy in one arm and a newborn baby in the other. Still, they both love piano and strings.

We suggest . . . a pop opera even bigger than The Jazz Singer. Rock operas are passé anyway.

NICK CAVE & KYLIE MINOGUE

Reason: Back in 1996, Minogue cut an unexpected duet with Nick Cave called "Where the Wild Roses Grow." We've always wanted more.

We suggest . . . just letting Cave take the reins. Minogue obviously has a dark side her pop superstar status can't accommodate when she's got top billing, so why not put her trust in Cave to conjure a storybook of more haunting, unforgettable narrative duets?

DAVID BOWIE & MILEY CYRUS

Reason: Bowie knows a thing or two about secret identities, just like Cyrus. Plus, at the rate increasingly controversial photos of her hit the Internet, she'll be tableaux non grata at Disney before she's 16. Why not resurrect her career as a post-modern commentary on the concept album?

We suggest . . . something unheard of. Bring in Timbaland and actually rerecord Bowie's classic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in its entirety. The result? A duet-laden concept album chock-full of club-friendly singles. Of course, Bowie will have to die for agreeing to all this, but it's a small price to pay for making great art.

 
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