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Robert Plant - Fate Of Nations CD (album) cover


Robert Plant

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's one of those albums which represent the most typical sound of the rock era, but it's also arguably the best Plant's album. It's from 1993, and that's clearly audible: it ranges from grungy, metallic riffs to highly-polished AOR production, with pumping bass. There are also excursion into old-fashioned rock, and it's a nostalgia jogging, but of high quality.

The opener 'Calling To You' starts with a guitar hook which soon gets into almost chugging riffs with complex rhythm. Plant's voice is in the top form here. Soon, we're getting into Eastern/Indian excursion which are certainly not unknown to ZEPPELIN fans, this time in fast-pace folk ballad 'Down To The Sea'.

'Come Into My Life' should have been an instant hit; the coda, followed by a simple guitar chords are hauntingly beautiful, and Plant's voice is full of...should I say desire. He proves he's still one of the best in business.

I won't go into details describing ever track; '29 Palms' got some airplay, if I recall correctly, with slightly 'tropical' feeling, 'If I Were A Carpenter' is an old, well known tune which is great in this version - simply because of Plants contribution. Finally the jewel of the album is 'Colours Of The Shade', another beautiful ballad, this one with great mandolin, gorgeous melody on fretless bass and great dynamic changes.

The rest of the album are highly-professional rock tune which are on the same level as the highlights, but they're inferior in the songwriting compartment.

In conclusion, this albums is recommended for any serious rock fan. It varies from the pleasant routine to some breathtaking moments.

Report this review (#304995)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
mystic fred
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The World in Meltdown..

If "Manic Nirvana" could be described loosely as his Hippy album, "Fate of Nations", released 25th May 1993 on Fontana, could possibly be Plant's Folksy album complete with acoustic guitars, mandolin and hurdy-gurdy, though Folk is very close to his heart this inevitably remains his most personal album? the message behind "Fate of Nations" is hinted at by the cover art of children watching the Earth in meltdown, and the songs "Great Spirit" and "Network News" allude to the socially conscious, a sentiment otherwise rare in Plant's songs.

Plant employs a completely different lineup of musicians including a guest spot from Nigel Kennedy on "Calling to You", the first track on the album which serves to set the mystical, textured and mature mood throughout, "Fate of Nations" is said to be one of the most interesting Plant albums for Prog lovers, it contains a wide spectrum of styles, instruments and themes, the eastern style rock extends onto the next track "Down to the Sea", this North African style of music had always been a fascination for Plant, eventually leading to a collaboration with Jimmy Page on the full blown "No Quarter" project.

A Celtic folksy "Clannad" feel with suitably ethereal vocals from Maire Brennan feature on "Come into my Life", some beautiful backing vocals in the same style, then a very personal song "I Believe" which Plant wrote about dealing with the death of his son Karac, who died in a swimming pool accident while Zeppelin were on tour.

"29 Palms", a song about a favourite place in America's California desert, continues in the same mood, the Zeppelinesque "Memory Song", and folk classic "If I Were a Carpenter" follows, a Tim Hardin song lavishly complemented with orchestral accompaniment. A traditional style acoustic Irish folk song "Colours of a Shade" follows, using various instruments (including fretless bass to great effect), contrasted by the electric rock- blues "Levee" harmonica sound of "Promised Land", featuring some very Page style riffs indeed, which leave the grandiose "Greatest Gift" and the the socio-political "Great Spirit" and "Network News" to round off the album.

Report this review (#304996)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Must I be the dissenting voice about this album? Honestly, aside from three fair tracks out of the eleven, this album is nothing but bland, forgettable AOR, with Led Zeppelin's singer fronting the band. The worst song being I Believe. Haven't people learned that imitating the one trick the The Edge uses in every song (playing simple licks through a stereo delay) just isn't terribly creative?

The three worthwhile tracks are Calling To You, which borrows the Middle Eastern feel of Kashmir, Promised Land, that sounds like a mixture of When The Levee Breaks and Hey Hey What Can I Do and Network News, that has a bit of Four Sticks to it. Are you seeing the pattern?

Three good, but derivative songs out of eleven - two stars.

Report this review (#306032)
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars All subjective of course but this one of Plant's finest studio releases, and most progressive too." Calling To You" immediately kicks the album off in fine form, great percussion and complex riffs. A great chorus and some very neat violin from one Nigel Kennedy. Robert Plant never afraid to collaborate with a whole host of current/past artists to ensure his delivery is of high quality music. " Down To The Sea" follows and is another fine song, reminiscent perhaps to Physical Grafitti days." Come Into My Life" makes up a hattrick a great songs with Francis Dunnery of It Bites fame ( on Prog Archives) lending his guitar and backing vocal skills to possibly one of the highlights of the album. " I Believe" is a wonderful pop song, not sure why it gets lambasted so severely here, probably because it is more commercial/crossover? " 29 Palms" has a great hook and is rumoured to lament his time with a certain Alannah Miles and the lyrics point at this famous hotel destination in the USA and a how a certain lady virtually chewed him up and spat him out. Quite literally broke his heart by the sound of his plaintive vocals.

After the covered accoustically led " If I was a Carpenter" the album continues to build with some excellent numbers namely " Colours Of the Shade", the LZ influenced " The Greatest Gift" and the spacey " Great Spirit" which has some really neat riffs. " Network News" finishes the album off on a frenzied high note with swirling guitars and dizzy violin playing from M Ali Whan, not to mention some duruba & sarod instrumentation too. Network News has a world music feel to it's fitting title, so does Fate Of Nations. Damn right it does!! One of Robert Plant's top three solo efforts for sure. Four solid stars.

Report this review (#306055)
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars I was extremely disappointed with Robert Plant's 1993 album. There are perhaps three decent tracks but on the whole this is a real wash out. No prog at all so forget that, instead a sad excuse for AOR that is forgettable and not even a shadow of what Plant is capable of. Nothing comes close to Led Zeppelin, not even enough to wipe Jimmie Page's backside.

Calling To You is perhaps the best track though sounds familiar for those who remember Kashmir, particularly that Eastern mystical sound. Interestingly enough Plant references Zeppelin a few times here on the album especially on Promised Land with a riff akin to When The Levee Breaks. I liked this version of If I Were a Carpenter, that is certainly way better than the original, but the rest of this album has no substance and I am perplexed as to its high ratings.

Report this review (#714342)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2012 | Review Permalink

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