In case you missed it, here's my take on Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III, and Led Zeppelin IV.
Today's album in review: Houses of the Holy. Several of the songs on this album are the impetus for my foray into Led Zeppelin fandom. So let's enjoy.
1. "The Song Remains the Same"--It always blows my mind how pop this song is. Pop with killer guitar solos and a more epic scope, but pop-ier than most Zeppelin songs. I would say it would fit very well on a Get Psyched Mix.
2. "The Rain Song"--This was one of the songs that convinced me to start my journey into Led Zeppelin music. It's a slower song filled with layers of instruments including strings and a piano in addition to the typical guitars and drums. It's long, but moves forward with a lovely minor-key melody that breaks into a powerful refrain toward the end and then softly eases us out the song.
3. "Over the Hills and Far Away"--This uses my favorite Zeppelin Classic Technique--start acoustic and soft and then bust out into an awesome harder rock middle of the song, and then leave us with a softer ending. Definitely a driving around sort of song.
4. "The Crunge"--I honestly don't know how to take this song. It's some sort of homage to James Brown. The meter in this song is insane and almost impossible to follow. Like most funk music, it's probably more fun to play than to listen to. Also, Plant's vocals sound weirdly distorted and the use of synthesizers instead of horns makes it sound more like Commander Keen than soul music. But if you appreciate crazy rhythm (shout out to John Bonham), it can be decent listen.
5. "Dancing Days"--Kind of like "On the Tiles", it sounds almost like a regular rock song, but with a haunting/hard core Jimmy Page riff. Unfortunately, this song also falls victim to the Commander Keen synth which instantly cheeses it up. But it's a good rock song, complete with a repeated "You know it's alright."
6. "D'yer Mak'er"--The title comes from a play on the word "Jamaica" (did you make her?) which exemplifies how fun this song is. It's raggae and Robert Plant has a field day with the vocals.
7. "No Quarter"--This song has grown on me. The instruments and vocals are distorted which makes for a very cool, grittier, and very layered sound. The best parts include an unaffected piano played by John Paul Jones over so many layers of of distorted instruments. But what really makes this song interesting to me is the catchy and deep guitar (bass?) solo.
8. "The Ocean"--Total guitar riff awesomeness and hard drumming that ends on a sweet doo-wop outro guitar solo. And if you listen close you can hear John Paul Jones and John Bonham singing harmonized backup at the end. Overall, a fun song to end the album.
Overall Assesment: Very interesting and more thoughtful music making on Houses of the Holy. There's a couple ridiculous songs that are outweighed by the successful experimental and classic Zeppelin sounding songs.