Album: Raising Sand
Artists: Allison Krauss and Robert Plant
Like/Don't Like: Let's just say that I cried through half the songs. Yes. I like it.
This is exactly the type of music you would hear if you found yourself one night at a roadhouse off a lonesome Texas highway. A roadhouse often visited by gypsies, fallen women, couples on the verge of breaking up, and a trucker who may or may not have killed a man.
Which is to say that this album is eerie and sad* and warm and all together AMAZING. It's folk and blues and a little rock (natch, it's Robert Plant) but it mostly just defies all the genres because it's so perfect. I got it last night after work and I haven't stopped listening to it. My plan is to quit my job so I can listen to it full time. I'd have to give up really good benefits but at least I'd have magic in my heart.
I love albums that sound like they're telling a story, where each song feels connected to the next. This one feels that way all the way through. I think that has a lot to do with T-Bone Burnette, who produced it and played guitar and bass on it. Most of the songs have that really heart-breaking wobbly bass line that evokes the creepy roadhouse image. Allison Krauss and Robert Plant sound like they come from the same family. Like a father and daughter duet. They sound incredible together. They're so well blended that it's hard to tell sometimes who's taking the lead and who's singing harmony. And the musicianship is some of the best I've heard.
I bought this album without ever hearing a single song from it. It popped up on my Amazon recommendations and I took a shot. I tend to get lucky when I do that, but it takes a few listens to really warm up to it and there will still be a few songs that I never get. So it's pretty high praise that I can't ever remember loving an entire album this much on it's first go around. Maybe you should think about getting it.
*It really is a very melancholy album so I would not recommend say, listening to it while actually driving on a lonesome Texas highway. I've never been on one but I've listened to enough Lyle Lovett to know that they're no place for people with low spirits.