Robert Plant Dreamland

At last, former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has found his "home." Up until now, and since 1987, the classic rock god had been creating questionable commercial music that would attempt to touch upon the psychedelic era, almost always with less than favourable (and laughable) results. Ironically, Plant and his new band Strange Sensation have reached manic nirvana (although the 1990 album of the same name was a postmodern gimmick attempted failure at romanticising an era). Dreamland, however, is an authentic yet highly unique psychedelic folk-rock voyage wrapped in a clever carpet of hypnotic Indonesian rhythms and visceral droning blues. Plant has never sounded so relaxed and "in place," and his band (featuring contributors from the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead) provides the perfect multi-instrumental and textured musical complexity with simplistic grace and a deep, penetrating vision. This album is just perfect, lacking any pretence. A few covers also lay within, including "Morning Dew," "Red Dress" and a stunning Twilight Zone-like attempt at re-energising "Hey Joe" in a 180-degree manner, far different than the version initially made famous by Jimi Hendrix. The album title is accurate as well, creating a transcending "experience," as all albums should. It is obvious that Plant is at his most honest here, at peace and with passion. (Universal)