John Paul Jones
The Thunderthief is the second solo outing from former Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones. Whereas his first release, Zooma, was purely instrumental, almost half of Thunderthief‘s tracks feature Jones on vocals. Stylistically, Jones covers a lot of ground on this CD, from the heavy, riff-laden progressive rock of tracks like “Leafy Meadows” to the traditional folk/bluegrass sound of “Down to the River to Pray” to the hyperactive punk parody “Angry Angry.” Aside from bass and keyboards, Jones plays a staggering array of instruments here, including exotic ones like the electric mandola. One of the most striking things about Thunderthief is its unusual juxtapositioning of sounds; “Shibuya Bop” features a Japanese koto played over a thundering prog-rock riff. Unlike the post-Zeppelin output of Page and Plant, Thunderthief shuns mainstream sensibilities and heavy metal posturing in favor of more adventuresome musical fare.