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Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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2.93 | 624 ratings

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3 stars In Through the Out Door is a mixed album. While it has a mostly clear, clean sound, and is held together tonally by JPJ's keys, it has some ragged moments for me.

Once again, as with Coda - don't start here if you're unfamiliar with Led Zeppelin. This album doesn't have much that is typical of the band, instead it is more of a progression toward almost adult contemporary territory. It sounds like a Led Zeppelin you could imagine in the Knebworth promo, where they're mostly in suit jackets and slacks, standing in tall grass and looking pretty satisfied.

'In the Evening' opens the album with some kick, although I prefer the short, slow passage after the first solo, but from there the 'rock' fades. But it is the next two tracks that stand out for me, 'South Bound Saurez' where every element comes together in a kind of mid-tempo rocker led by Jones, and the single 'Fool in the Rain' which is quite fun. Here (and throughout the album) Bonzo's drums are captured beautifully in a song that spans a few genres and has a surprising samba section.

Less convincing for me is 'Hot Dog' and while 'All of My Love' is quite tender, I don't play it a lot. 'I'm Gonna Crawl' is an interesting closer, with some tortured vocals from Robert, though much of the synth sound here, rather than add texture, seems to muffle some of the power in this track.

Finally 'Carouselambra.' It's one the Zeppelin songs that I have never been able to fully dismiss, nor fully enjoy. Once again, I find the slower 'where was you bow' section to be the most effective, whereas the wall of synth and guitar in the other passages drown Robert out and get a little clunky.

In Rolling Stone Jones mentioned that he and Robert were in "the relatively clean [camp]" at the time the album was being recorded, and it was up to the two to produce the bulk of the songs, and so naturally we hear more Jones. I've always enjoyed hearing his piano more in these songs, along with a willingness to experiment, but ultimately enjoy their other albums more.

dreadpirateroberts | 3/5 |


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