Jan. 28th, 2011

janradder: (watt)
A Song I Hear Often On the Radio

Quite some time ago I was reading an interview with Robert Plant and he talked about how much he loved bands like Hüsker Dü and the Minutemen. Now, I know what you're probably thinking -- that Robert Plant? The one with the screechingly high voice who sang for Led Zeppelin? Yes, that Robert Plant. I suppose that revelation isn't so shocking now since he's been covering bands like Low and Los Lobos recently, but back then it was pretty surprising. The single off his latest album that our local indie rock radio station has been playing a ton is "You Can't Buy My Love," and you can kind of hear the influence of those indie/alterno bands. There's parts like the distorted bass at the beginning and is the use of the floor tom by the drummer, both of which I love. And the early 60's rock and roll sound is fun. But nothing ever happens. The song has a nice little beat and a decent melody, but there's no point where it takes off, and it should. Each time I hear it, I keep thinking that at some point it should bust out with an overly loud chorus, or a guitar solo that shreds, or Plant should go into some sort of shrieking howl. There should be something. But there isn't. There's no oomph or growl. Instead, the band plays along at a nice even keel, never getting too high or too low, but just happily ambling along a plateau. It's safe, and that's not a good thing when it comes to rock. What bands like Hüsker Dü and the Minutemen had was passion -- you never for a moment doubted that they were putting everything they could into each second of each song they played. I think that's part of what Robert Plant heard in those bands, and he probably saw a bit of himself in that as well, because you could say the same thing about Led Zeppelin. Whether you liked them or not, you couldn't doubt that they were passionate about what they were doing. You can't say that about "You Can't Buy My Love."


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