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


Led Zeppelin


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3.91 | 867 ratings

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3 stars This album is a real puzzle, and was a great let-down to me after the heroic heights of LED ZEPPELIN IV.

Like many musicials who make it big, the members of LED ZEPPELIN now (in 1972/3) no longer have ordinary lives. This is reflected in their songwriting. The album is loosely conceptual, based around he concept of a tour (guess what they'd been doing before recording this album). This is similar to what PINK FLOYD did in the late '70s with 'The Wall', though not as overt.

But, with three exceptions, the songwriting is not up to it. Where's the bombast? The jungle-heavy drums? The crisp production? The flow? None of it is here. Instead we have a retreat to the tentative days of III. That said, there are parallels to their previous album: 'Dancing Days' is this album's 'Black Dog', and 'The Rain Song' fills the 'Stairway' gap. But there was nothing like 'No Quarter', a magnificent progressive epic, on any previous ZEP album.

There are some true stinkers here. 'D'yer Mak'er' is lame, both in the ill-advised reggae lift and in the weak pun. 'The Crunge' is another poorly executed stab at a different musical genre (in this case funk). It must have been designed to grate on the nerves. Listening to this is like finding a plastic fly in your soup: you know it was intended, but it's still not funny. 'The Ocean' has a heavy rock intro and descends into doo-wap.

Two steps forward (with IV), and one step back with this album. Fortunately things would be addressed on the truly magnificent PHYSICAL GRAFFITI, which found LED ZEPPELIN once again at the top of their form.

russellk | 3/5 |


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