Shaken ‘n’ Stirred: There was a darker timeline all along.

r-1702001-1256127724-jpegNo, goddamn it.

This should not be. This was not meant to exist. This thing should have not even been conceptualized. Any session for this recording should be retroactively cancelled and erased from the memory of society. It’s like the anti-rain cycle. Everything it does scientifically should have never reached a creative cloud in the first place. No evaporation, no condensation, no perspiration.

Nothing.

Don’t even show it to me on the 10 Day forecast, Mr. Weatherman. I wouldn’t dare call this thing an album. That’d be insulting to all the hard-working albums with some depth. Most will at least give you some multiple feet. But Shaken ‘N’ Stirred? You’d struggle to get half a foot. Noisy and incoherent, even good tracks like “Hip to Hoo” and “Too Loud” can only cruise until t-boned by Plant’s overindulgent production. Other tracks snooze at 20 mph before crashing musical sequiturs with all the impact of a paper car. Plant accelerated from solid to reckless, zero-to-100, in just three years.

That’s some Rod Stewart-type speed in abandoning what works for what glitters but has no gold. Weird poppy stage my ass, I start getting annoyed with artists that recklessly go pop. And I don’t dislike an artist that takes pop into consideration of their art. I don’t dislike it when Rod Stewart or Robert Plant put poppy flourishes into their music. Just as I didn’t dislike Daft Punk for Random Access Memories. And that’s because Daft Punk never went full-on disco—they made disco go full-on Daft Punk. Mixing disco instrumentation with classic house music structure.

In that vein, “In the Mood” and the rest of The Principle of Moments was popular music fitting into Robert Plant’s trusted rock ‘n’ roll racer, worn and well while Shaken ‘N’ Stirred is Robert Plant fitting into a pop-mobile that’s neither his nor worn nor well. Cross it out on the roadmap unless you’re into the whole “owning the entire discography” thing. Then you can join me in the van. Everyone else can take “Little by Little” and “Sixes and Sevens,” and burn rubber from this album as fast as possible.

Can we review Now and Zen yet?

Producer: Robert Plant

Tracklist:

  1. “Hip To Hoo”
  2. “Kallalou Kallalou”
  3. “Too Loud”
  4. “Trouble Your Money”
  5. “Pink and Black”
  6. “Little By Little”
  7. “Doo Doo A Do Do”
  8. “Easily Lead”
  9. “Sixes And Sevens”

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About BenJamsToo

A young dude with an old soul from Portland, OR but currently teaching and writing in rural France. A lover of rock n roll since his mother first spun The Police’s “Roxanne,” he’s also dabbler in soul, funk, jazz, blues, electronic and hip-hop. Perhaps it’s easier to list what he doesn’t like; most gangster rap, country-western and modern metal disagrees with his stomach. Spends all day wondering what Ruban Nielson eats for breakfast, why Danger Mouse hasn't made a through and through GOOD record since St. Elsewhere, if Kamasi Washington is the Kanye West of jazz and just what the hell people hear in mumble rap. Between those things he writes for Atwood and his own blog, thefriedneckbones.net. Come here for the nice clean thoughts; go there for the ramblings of an insane man.