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an ear full

  Music reviews by  Nat  Lathy

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Led Zeppelin-Presence (Swan Song, 1976) 8/10

Posted by nlathy on November 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Led Zeppelin is a band I had mixed emotions about even when I was playing their albums.

I admired their musical ability. And I was intrigued by Robert Plant's singing. But I couldn't help but think even at their best they could sound formulaic. And for lyrical brilliance, there were many other bands to focus on particularly the Rolling Stones and the Who in the hard rock world.

But no band had the commitment to hard and heavy rock Led Zeppelin had and managed to keep their music out the realm of pure noise. The only other heavy band, which could come up with rock this musical was Cream, and their song catalog isn't nearly as interesting.

This album isn't the band's masterpiece. Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy are much stronger. I've heard just about all of the albums they released prior to John Bonham's death, and this one is the one I like the least (I do suspect I'd like the album from the concert film less than this one if I ever listen to it).

On a couple of tracks, it feels like I'm listening to cuts they've recorded on other albums. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" is the strongest song on here. And it's not up to the level of the band's best tracks. Still nothing here is awful. The competence and occasional brilliance make it worthwhile for an occasional listen.

Categories: reviews

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