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Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.91 | 866 ratings

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3 stars After the commercial success of their first 4 album, Zeppelin continued to reinvent themselves an instead of delivering a clone of the previous album, they went in an entirely different direction.

Or should that be directions?

The diversity on the album sure doesn't help to build a consensus about it. Some fans love this one a lot, others find it mediocre. I sure do praise Zeppelin's ambition to look forward, but the album simply lacks consistency. It's as if Zeppelin deliberately wanted to make songs in specific styles here, hard rock, blues, funk, reggae? and it comes off forced because of it. The lengthier songs are the best and are almost proggy. Even the beautiful artwork hints in that direction.

Some tracks are average at best. The Song Remains The Same takes a good start but runs out of ideas after less then a minute. Also Over The Hills misses the inspiration and the holy fire that burned on previous Zeppelin albums. The band really sounds tired and worn on all those tracks. The thin production doesn't help. On top of that, a lot of people cringe from the funk of The Crunge and the reggae of 'Jamaica'. I find these rather pleasant really, but they probably shouldn't have made it onto the album. They rather sound like B-side material.

Two songs work really well. The Rain Song sounds a bit aged, but it has a touching melancholy that almost turns syrupy, but luckily Zeppelin stays on the right side of the line dividing sentimental pose from heartfelt honesty. The album also has that one essential track that makes it so hard to give it just a little 3 stars. No Quarter is a slowly brooding blues song that has almost morphed in to progressive rock due to the dreamy dark ambience and remarkable keyboard and piano work. Also the pumping rock of Dancing Days and The Ocean aren't bad. Unfortunately they threw in a cheesy rockabilly section near the end of that last one.

One 5 star track on a 2.5 star album. Equals a thin 3 stars.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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