Manic Nirvana (1CD)
Robert Plant

Manic Nirvana (1CD)

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Manic Nirvana is the fifth studio album by former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, released in March 1990.

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Everything came together for Plant on 1990’s Manic Nirvana, channelling his past and incorporating a heavy but complex contemporary sound, where he was able to take his blues and move forward, to excellent effect.

From the guitar figure that starts "Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes on You)” – a sort of declaration of the big rock to come – Manic Nirvana crackles with an urgency Plant hadn’t been much interested in mustering with his previous few records. The guitar cuts through some of the more superfluous production tricks (the hand-clappy percussion in particular), cracking the song open so Plant can open up. The “talk about love” pre-chorus also gives him the opportunity to slide into his upper register, which is another welcome sign.

Guitarist Doug Boyle piles on the riffs – the chugging figure on “Nirvana,” the Page-like blast on “Tie Dye on the Highway,” the bluesy slide on “S S S & Q” – and Plant matches them with the swagger in his voice. It’s not that he yields completely to the six-string pyrotechnics; the synth-heavy “Anniversary” gives him space to stretch and give in to the song’s inherent drama (though it also contains Boyle’s best solo on the record, so there’s that). “Liar’s Dance,” conversely, peels back the production, providing Plant with room to go deep into the blues, a circumstance he clearly relishes.

By the time the spacy, quasi-psychedelic “Watching You” fades out and Plant has screamed, moaned and sung his fill, you realize what kind of a trip he’s taken you on, and you’re happy to have gotten to ride along. Manic Nirvana is Robert Plant at his post-Zeppelin best, embracing his past and present in a titanic rock sound that’ll crack your windows and rattle your walls, if you let it. And you really should.

  1. Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes On You)
  2. Big Love
  3. S S S & Q
  4. I Cried
  5. She Said
  6. Nirvana
  7. Tie Dye On The Highway
  8. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night
  9. Anniversary
  10. Liars Dance
  11. Watching You
  12. Oompah (Watery Bint)
  13. One Love
  14. Don't Look Back