No joke: the first side of this record sucks so bad it ruins the entire album.
Throughout Carry Fire, some coals burn hotter than others, but none flameout. Instead, they move through the skin with the comfort of a warm winter treat, a hot chocolate for the soul.
Plant’s voice, thus, moved from black women wailing and tall tales of a rambler to the slow, low burning insights of a man who has seen the rock ‘n’ roll world for all it’s worth, all it’s false promise, all it’s real excess.
No Quarter put an end to a Robert's dawdling career. It’s a reenergizing return to roots filled with mixing eastern and western influences, the sweet sound of Page’s guitar and grandiose orchestrations.
Fate of Nations is when the milk sours. It was a throwback to a sound that had accrued exactly zero nostalgia factor. Too late to rock ‘n’ roll, too soon to mystify.
No erratic and lockstep pace holds Manic Nirvana back, instead the Robert Plant express steams forth with no time to lose. In all its manic glory, no less.
Trying to like these middling middle cuts is to attempt to love a series of flameouts. They just look for instants, scenes to cling to. Instead of staying in the moment, Now and Zen tries to force moments.