LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin IV (review)

LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin IV album cover Album · 1971 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Everybody knows who Led Zeppelin is, quite possibly the most influential rock band of all time. Great stuff comes from this band. Well after listening to this album for a while, I can't say it's a masterwork. There's some creative stuff coming from here, but again there's also a lot of repetitivity here. That's okay. For a blues based album, this is phenomenal. I really enjoy listening to it, but again, there are moments that make me want to hear something else. You may see what I mean. The album kicks off with Black Dog, a great bluesy song. The riffs in this one and it's a nice one to hear. It's main feature is it's call-and-response type melodies between Robert Plant's vocals and the instruments of the band. It goes on a bit, but it's an overall good listen.

The first time I heard the next track, Rock and Roll, I thought it was one of the greatest pieces of music. It hits you hard with a driving beat and a loud 12 bar blues progression. However, that's almost all it seems to feature. Sure, occasionally the music drops out so you can hear lonely, lonely time and there's a guitar solo and an ending drum solo, but overall the song doesn't change it in the least, making it boring for repeated listening. Great for a couple of times, boring after that.

The Battle of Evermore is one of the best tracks on the album. The instruments are stripped down to just acoustics, and there's some interesting mandolins. This is a lovely track to fall asleep to, because it's just hauntingly pretty. There's also plenty of mysticism in the track. Along with those things, I beleive that this is Robert Plant's best vocal performance in Led Zeppelin. He goes through a great vocal range in this song, and there's a great echo effect towards the end that expresses the music very well. Nice job with this one.

If you've ever been interested at all in rock, you will definetely know that Stairway to Heaven, the fourth track on the album, is quite possibly one of the best songs ever created. Many call it overrated, but it is definetely deserving of being overrated. In case you don't know what this track is, I'll give you an idea of what it sounds like. It starts off with acoustic guitar and after a bit some flute. The vocals come in quietly and start the music. The verses eventually build in intensity until the drums start in. Clean guitars replace the acoustics, untill suddenly the guitar seems to burst out and proclaim something. Something life changingly important. After the grand proclamation, it segues into a very well composed guitar solo by Jimmy Page. This leads finally into the epic closure, and everything climaxes into a very emotional ending. Everything finally breaks away, and the vocals close out the aftermath.

If there was an example for anticlimactic, the next song would be a good one. After the grandness of 'Stairway', there's another simple blues riff based song called Misty Mountain Hop. Nothing terribly great about this one. In fact, I often find myself thinking, When is this one going to end?. Oh well.

But that's alright, the fifth song serves as a good spacing between 'Stairway' and Four Sticks, another great song. Although this one is rather repetitive like the preceding one, this one has a great groove and is in 5/4 through most of it. Robert Plant's unintelligible vocals just add more to the track too. I've heard that this is the only track that Zeppelin didn't perform live, and I bet there's a good reason for that. John Bonham's tom grooves on the set are most definetely difficult, causing trouble in the studio until he picked up an extra pair of sticks and was able to lay it down. A good track, and it definetely deserves a thumbs up.

Going to California is a very folky vibed song. It doesn't have the same atmosphere as The Battle of Evermore, it definetely has more of an earthier feel to it. There's some beautiful acoustics here, and some great longingly beautiful vocals. Althought there's not much terribly great stuff going on here, it's short, making it a good one to listen to.

When the Levee Breaks is a song I have mixed feelings about. There's quite a few ideas in this one, and it changes a bit, but overall it's very slow and repetitive. I really don't know what people talk about when they say it's one of the best songs ever created. I really feel that there's not much going on in it's 8 minute length. But people say it's good, so you might as well go with their opinions.

Well there you have it. Some songs just are great and definetely make it a worthwhile listen. Other ones make you want to go to the next, simply because of their repetitivity. That's my general opinion on the album. There are definetely parts that make it one of the most recognized albums of all time, but there are better ones out there that you could be listening to. I'd reccomend it to any fan of blues and simple hard rock, though metalheads will certainly find plenty of elements to appreciate.
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