Review Summary: As 1970 brought in Led Zeppelin’s second release, you could already tell that there would be no sophomore slump. These guys were just too good.
As 1970 brought in Led Zeppelin’s second release, you could already tell that there would be no sophomore slump. These guys were just too good.
Along with the continuity of their high level of playing in LZ I, II shows more experimental sections that add a distinct flavor to this album that elevates it above their first LP. One example of this would be the famous “echoy” break in Whole Lotta Love or the extra-produced vocals of What Is And What Never Should Be. Though I personally don’t think these attempts at stylistic changes fully come to fruition, it shows that even Zep had room to improve.
Things really pick up musically with Lemon Song which features great song writing and a decent solo from Paige as he climbs up the scale with different rhythmic variations. Thank You, which is grossly underappreciated realy puts on display the musicality and musicianship of the entire band on display, complete with beautiful organ backings and an acoustic solo that places a close second behind Heartbreaker’s for best on the album.
The next four tracks are very demonstrative of how good a rock band that Zeppelin was. Even though Living Loving Maid is a very straight and simple tune, the tempo changes and call-and-response vocals make it extremely solid. Ramble On, despite its popularity is one of the weaker cuts on the album, but it has a very strong chorus that pulls the listener in. Heartbreaker and Moby Dick speak for themselves, seeing as how Eddie Van Halen’s famous tapping style was born in the set of pull offs in Heartbreaker’s solo and the drum solo of Bonham’s continues to captivate us even to this day.
Finally, the harmonica driver Bring It On Home does exactly as it reads with a drive that LZ I’s closer just didn’t have and ends the album very nicely (though the How The West Was Won version is infinitely better if you have patience for a 9:28 closer).
-The Lemon Song