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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.98 | 984 ratings

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4 stars Led Zeppelin's II is a step away from the blues and deeper into hard rock.

Some amazing moments spread across this album, one which has a nice sonic unity for something recorded in various studios. Engineer Kramer attributes this impressive feat to Page.

The hard blues and hard rock sound from Led Zeppelin is continued. It's a strength, and Zeppelin play to it, especially in the 'The Lemon Song.' More of the hard rock comes in to classic 'Whole Lotta Love' and lesser tracks like 'Bring it On Home' or the much stronger 'Heartbreaker.' with its satisfying second solo and outro.

'Living Loving Maid' is inessential and 'Bring it On Home' is of course, a bit better live. 'Moby Dick' does have a catchy riff, even if the drum solo is not something I listen to every time I put the album on, but most impressive about II, aside from the gigantic influence it had, was where Zeppelin deviated from their hard blues blueprint, creeping closer to what fans would hear on III. Hints of it were abound on Led Zeppelin but a gentle track like 'Thank You' or the chilled 'What is and What Should Never Be' were something new for the band.

Lyrically, many of these songs are among the most obvious of Plant's offerings, still deep in the blues 'theft'/sexual swagger stage. But he gets more interesting on the album's real highlight 'Ramble On.' A song that looks forward to his later use of Tolkien themes and looks back compositionally to the 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' dynamic (but does it better). With a nimble Jones and thoughtful guitar parts from Page, an even more explosive chorus from the whole band, it was a moment on the album that was capped with the impressive stereo panning of Robert's ad-libs during the dying seconds.

Another historically significant rock album from Led Zeppelin, released right on the heels of their debut.

dreadpirateroberts | 4/5 |


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