The question on everyone's lips is "how the heck does Robert Plant maintain the passion, the fire, his mastery of songwriting, his ever youthful sounding voice after 50 years at the coal-face?"
Plant recently turned 69 years old, and rather than hanging up his microphone and easing quietly into retirement on the back of his Led Zeppelin millions, he seems to be getting BETTER with every new album.
With Carry Fire, he's again working with the Sensational Space Shifters, who he introduced as his new band at 2012's Womad gig in Wiltshire, and with whom he created the impressive Lullaby ... and the Ceaseless Roar in late 2014.
If anything, and probably reflecting their time together, Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters have raised the bar to another level on Carry Fire.
With Plant you know you are going to be tested by different rhythms, with an Eastern influence, with a superlative level of musicianship, and, rest assured, it's evident again in spades.
Folk, blues, Celtic, Indian, mid Eastern and Led Zeppelin wells infuse the songs and settings that allow Plant to sell his imagery with a mystic atmosphere that's hypnotic and super-engaging. There's even more depth and scope to his voice than ever too.
No, none of this answers the question I posed, if anything listening to Carry Fire renders the question irrelevant. Let's just make a sign of the cross and say thank you.