Lullaby... And the Ceaseless Roar (Nonesuch/Warner)
For the past few years, former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has lived in the States and performed with roots rocker Alison Krauss. That experience has left a lasting impression. He digs deep into traditional English music on his latest solo effort, an album that pairs him with the Sensational Space Shifters. His voice sounds soft and ethereal on album opener "Little Maggie," a song that begins with the sound of a kologo, an African stringed instrument. That sets the appropriate tone for the wildly experimental album that delivers everything from trip-hop ("Embrace Another Fall") to Brit-pop ("Rainbow"). Zeppelin fans probably won't like the fact that Plant never wails. But his willingness to experiment with genre is commendable and suggests the extent to which he refuses to rest on his laurels.