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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.40 | 1198 ratings

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5 stars All that glitters is untitled.

"Led Zeppelin IV" is of course, a peak for the band, and a peak for rock music. Not perfect, but possibly the warmest, most feel-good album I own that isn't in the progressive genre.

'IV' has the perfect balance, unlike it's predeccessors. The debut was mostly blues, the 'Brown Bomber' mostly rock, the acoustic album mostly acoustic. But this record is the one where the band perfect their recipe and include the right amounts of everything. There are three energetic riff-rockers, three acoustic beauties, one luxurious blues gem, and a boogie woogie jam thrown in for good measure. It's not diverse, it's just well- blended. And is there any filler? No. A couple of tracks have less weight but are still superior to most of 'Led Zeppelin III'. And anyway, the less significant compositions are important for the flow of the album.

'Black Dog' returns to the groove of the band's second album, with a great riff, interesting timing, and plenty of dynamics. The same can be said for 'Misty Mountain Hop', with it's joyful lyrics and funky electric piano. 'Four Sticks' is worldy, in 5/4, and has a synthesizer solo. Who ever said this band wasn't progressive? 'Rock and Roll is good fun but non-essential (listen out for [boogie with] Stu!). 'The Battle of Evermore' and 'Going to California' are both acoustic songs of the highest quality, the former with mystical mandolin and a beautiful-sounding female vocalist, and the latter with emotive lyrics and sweet melodies. 'When the Levee Breaks' is the next bombastic installment in Led Zep's blues catalogue. It's energetic yet steady, and the harmonica is cosmic. I think there may be a song I've missed but it can't be that important... ... ... ... Oh yeah, THAT one. Well if you aren't already familiar then you don't deserve to be.

So all this is topped off with a thought-provoking cover, a set of characteristic symbols, and some careful, non-pretentious production. The result is five stars.

thehallway | 5/5 |


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