Classic Rock Review

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Robert Plant The Principle Of Moments (1983)

PlantPrincipleFrom starling.rinet.ru

If the last album was mood music, then this one is triple and quadruple mood music. Maybe that’s why the only song on it that I really like is called ‘In The Mood’! It’s an innocent little danceable shuffle with well-placed funk bass and somewhat unannoying synth backgrounds.

Of course, Robert lies through his teeth when he chants ‘I’m in the mood for melody, I’m in the mood for melody’, because we all know “Robert Plant” and “melody” stand at two different ends of the cognoscentia spectrum, but let’s just assume he’s chanting ‘I’m in the mood’ and everything falls back in the proper place. Right away! I really like the way he sounds on this track, and Blunt’s little guitar arpeggios in the instrumental section are quite tasteful as well.

But really, the song’s an exception. Most of the rest is just the same – endless murky sticky drones which are probably intended to suppress your psyche, and they do, but not because it’s all so deep and emotionally rich, rather because it’s so badly executed. Come now, the biggest song on here was ‘Big Log’.

Does it even have anything like a melody? It’s typical Eighties adult pop, moody and a little dark, with drum machines, soft guitars that say nothing, heavenly synth backgrounds and vocals that could care less about whether they’re hook-oriented or not. Of course, when Robert Plant uses his most majestic sounding tone to begin a song with the glorious line ‘My love is in league with the freeway!’, that’s supposed to rule, right? That’s coolness epitomized, isn’t it? Let’s see how I can top this, hmm… ‘My love has a way with angels!’ ‘My love does not care about flowing!’ ‘My love lays its rules with a blessing!’ ‘My love is in touch with the North wind!’ See?

Now go ahead and tell me who of us is more poetically gifted. Oh, okay, I admit that according to these rules, it is possible to mock every single line ever written by anybody, but fact is, if there’s anything that catches your attention on ‘Big Log’, it’s this pompous start, and that’s totally ready-dick-ulous.

Out of the rockers, the only two that somehow manage to stand out (half an inch each, no more) are ‘Other Arms’ and, I think, yeah, it’s the one called ‘Horizontal Departure’. ‘Other Arms’ has a bunch of gritty metallic descending riffs in between the verses, and the ‘lay down your arms!’ call that Plant howls out from time to time until it becomes repetitive ad nauseam for some reason reminds me of ‘lay down your arms and surrender to me…’. Remember that silly tune covered by the Beatles on the Live At The BBC album? Boy, one sure picks up odd associations when listening to Robert Plant.

Although come to think of it, the melody’s mainly just been ripped off of Ray Charles’ ‘Unchain My Heart’ (a MUCH better song). As for ‘Horizontal Departure’, it’s very tedious in the verses section, but at least it has this fast semi-catchy chorus that’s oh so stingy Eighties-pop it hurts, but hey, for a drop of catchiness! For a little piece o’ rock stickin’ out from under the dirty water! Spoiled, polluted by generic production values and total lack of musical ideas! And a Phil Collins on drums on top! And God only knows on what else!

It’s kinda hard for me to say at least anything about the other four songs. I remember for sure that I didn’t vomit while they were on – although, frankly speaking, I’m not so certain about the capacity of my memory at the moment, and it could well be that I have simply spent all the contents of my stomach on the preceding album. But I sure as hell can’t really remember even if they were rockers or ballads, although I did give it the required three listens. I suppose it was some kind of ‘average’ between the two – ballad-resembling rockers, or rockin’-potential ballads. And the length, the length, it just kills… five minutes is normal for a song on here, but when each song has one or two different ideas at best, it HURTS. It saws through your brain, spoils your mood, sucks out all the life energy, I won’t even mention what these songs have done to my AURA. Suffice it to say that about 50% of that stuff is further untalented ‘Kashmir’ rip-offs, and the other 50% is weather channel music.

I sure wouldn’t object from having Robbie Blunt play in my band if I had one… some of his guitar parts are very tastefully done, but I would certainly want him to play something different. Oh, and did I say ‘Kashmir’ rip-offs? Not necessarily so. On ‘Thru’ With The Two Step’, for instance, I think I hear obvious ‘I’m Gonna Crawl’ references in tone and mood. But that’s more a pure and dry statement of fact than an actual endorsement of any kind.

So it’s an eight, and a rather weak one at that – and frankly speaking, I REALLY don’t understand how the hell a song as jello-like as ‘Big Log’ could ever become a hit single. Due to the ambiguous title? ‘In The Mood’, that’s a different matter. It has some potential. Whatever.

Final delirious note: the most obnoxious thing on the album is the final section to ‘Stranger Here… Than Over There’, where the band goes for a stupid imitation of the ‘orgasmic’ section on ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and Plant even stoops to whining ‘push… push…’ a couple of times. Jimmy must have wanted to get an overdose upon hearing that.

March 7, 2013 - Posted by | Robert Plant The Principle Of Moments |

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