Robert Plant, Alison Krauss – Raising Sand (2xLP)
Raising Sand is a Grammy-award winning collaboration album by rock singer Robert Plant and bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss. It was released on October 23, 2007 by Rounder Records. Raising Sand won Album of the Year at the 2008 Americana Music Honors & Awards and at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The album met with critical acclaim, earning an average score of 87 from reviews compiled by Metacritic. It ranked at #24 on Rolling Stone's December 17, 2007 listing of the year's top 50 albums. Being There called it "one of the year’s very best".
Allmusic hailed it "one of the most effortless-sounding pairings in modern popular music", but stated that some songs "(felt) like (they were) tossed off". JamBase called the album "subtle, focused and full of life" and said that it was "highly recommended". Village Voice described it as "powerfully evocative" and "utterly foreign, oddly familiar, and deeply gratifying."
The songs on Raising Sand were handpicked by producer T Bone Burnett. Entertainment Weekly described the selection as "eclectic", while Village Voice said, "Burnett flaunts his typical curatorial genius with a whole set of 'have we met before?' tunes."
The musical quality was also praised. The BBC described Krauss's fiddle as "coruscating" and "raw", while Music Box said Krauss "exceeds all expectations". The BBC said the musicians "make this a stunning, dark, brooding collection, comparable in tone to Daniel Lanois' masterful job on Dylan's Time Out Of Mind."
Critics praised Krauss and Plant's vocals; one critic saying that the "key to the magic is the delicious harmony vocals of the unlikely duo". Various critics described Krauss's vocals as "spellbinding", "honey-sweet", "weepy", "saccharine", and "haunting". Plant's vocals were described as "orgasmic" and "slithering".
"Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)" was released as a single and won the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 50th Grammy Awards and was nominated for the Americana Award for "Song of the Year". The song "Killing the Blues" was #51 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.
On February 8, 2009, the album won all five awards for which it was nominated at the 51st Grammy Awards: Album of the Year; Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album; Record of the Year (for "Please Read the Letter"); Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (for "Rich Woman"); and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (for "Killing the Blues"). Raising Sand was the second of three country albums to win Album of the Year, following Dixie Chicks's Taking the Long Way and preceding Taylor Swift's Fearless.
The album was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Prize in the UK.
In December 2009, Rhapsody ranked the album #2 on its "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" list. The online music service also called it one of their favorite cover albums of all time.
"Raising Sand is my album of the century," said singer Lily Allen. "I love the whole folky and bluegrass sound. There's one track called 'Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us', which sounds like an epic funeral march: it's haunting and spooky, and Alison Krauss's voice can just make you shiver. Then there's 'Please Read the Letter', which just has such an honest and open sentiment, it's disarming. I'd love to do an album like that."
A1 Rich Woman
A2 Killing The Blues
A3 Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us
A4 Polly Come Home
B1 Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
B2 Through The Morning, Through The Night
B3 Please Read The Letter
C1 Trampled Rose
C2 Fortune Teller
C3 Stick With Me Baby
D2 Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson
D3 Your Long Journey