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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.39 | 1112 ratings

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5 stars After the somewhat disappointing third album I found myself skittish about running out and buying their fourth LP when this appeared in 1971. But from the first time I heard the phenomenal "Black Dog" blasting from the radio I knew they had found the groove once again. It's not formula boogie or just riff-based bashing here. This is, indeed, progressive ROCK whether one wants to believe it or not. The first two LPs were really just heavy blues and the third was a mishmash of folksy follies but LZ4 really broke away from that inconsistent trend and created a whole new genre. There isn't a weak or copy-cat song to be found. While "Stairway to Heaven" just may be the most overplayed album cut ever it still encompasses everything I like about progressive rock. It steadily and dynamically builds and builds to an incredible tension-filled high before landing softly back on the tarmac. "Four Sticks" is a real adventure in textures and time signatures and the huge drum sound that starts "When the Levee Breaks" will never be duplicated. And Page's brilliant guitar work throughout the album may be his most impressive body of artistry in a stellar career. Plant's voice is at its best, as well, and shows real variety when he warbles the lighter songs like "Going to California." To sum it all up, fans of almost every group will inevitably argue and disagree about what comprises that band's best collection of tunes but when it comes to Zep it's nearly unanimous. This is undeniably their finest hour.
Chicapah | 5/5 |


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