Title - 'Principle of Moments - Remastered' (Rhino)
Artist - Robert Plant
The 1980s held so much promise for Led Zeppelin. Their final album had shown they could make the transition into the digitally-minded decade with ease by toning down the guitar attack in favor of lush keyboards. However, drummer John Bonham's death silenced that notion and the surviving members decided to carry on alone. No surprise, Robert Plant, being the most visible member of Zeppelin, found solo success first. His 1982 debut PICTURES AT ELEVEN sold well thanks to his previous fame with Zeppelin, even peaking at #5 on the charts without a high-selling single. But that album seemed to say that Plant still missed the heavy blues-rock that Zeppelin had all but pioneered. With the follow-up PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTS, Robert probably decided to sever ties with his past once and for all. Indeed, 'MOMENTS' introduces a more pop-oriented facet to Plant's personality, and like the keyboard-based departure that was IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR, it works surprisingly well. The album generated 2 top 40 hits for Plant: the simple yet infectious "In The Mood" and the moody, introspective "Big Log". This was probably due to the airy soundscapes that producers Benji Lefeure, Pat Moran, and Plant himself bring to songs that may have also worked had Jimmy Page had a hand in them. "Mood" proves that blues-shouter Plant could convincingly sing mellow pop, while "Big Log" maintains the mystery of Zeppelin's best work, although some have said it is Robert Plant having a conversation with God (maybe about John Bonham's death), so who knows? Hinting at Led Zeppelin's underrated willingness to experiment, PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTS has its share of more left-field ditties like the eerie "Stranger Here...Than Over There", "Messin' With The Mekon" and "Thru With The Two-Step". Plant hasn't lost his tendency for abstract song titles, and their intention at sparking discussion among music fans is indeed a successful one. The closest things to all-out rockers on 'MOMENTS' are "Other Arms" and "Horizontal Departure", proving that Robert Plant doesn't need to be reflective all of the time. And for anyone who knocks the follow-up SHAKEN N' STIRRED for being too keyboard-driven, they should listen to PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTS to realize that the more production-based approach was coming anyway.