Sound — 8
Before I get into this review, I'd like to make a correction to the last one I did, which was a review of Led Zeppelin I. I said that Jimmy used a Les Paul and a Vox amp for his sound, but that isn't true. Jimmy used a 1959 Les Paul, a 10-string Fender Steel Pedal, and a Supro amp. So the world was blown away with the arrival of Led Zeppelin debut album, and Led Zeppelin II was no different. In fact this album again proved that Led Zeppelin was above all other bands at the time. Sure Floyd was expanding their horizons, and investigating new sounds, and AC DC was taking those same old blues riffs, and making them sound fresh, but who wouldn't want to listen to 'Whole Lotta Love' which kicks off the second epic. The band takes a more independent approach to their sound on this album, which isn't as blues-heavy as the first album. John Paul Jones again takes the keyboards, and uses rolling chords and keyboard riffs to spice up 'Thank You' which is not something you would expect after listening to Led Zeppelin I. The jewel of the album is not 'Whole Lotta Love', but the rockin' blues song 'The Lemon Song' which again takes advantage of a Howlin' Wolf song (Killin' Floor). The great thing about the song is where the band pauses, and changes tempo so Jimmy can rip out a roarin' boogie-woogie/rock guitar solo. Bonzo's drumming is also a point of admiration, as his power and drum fills become more complicated and different from other drummers at that time. also listen to 'Moby Dick' and feel the emotion that Bonzo is pouring through his hands. The drum solo is great. The album also takes use of Robert Plant's amazing harmonica playing abilities. 'Bring It On Home' is a blues induced song that lulls you into a sense of... just something that is inexplainable. And the out of nowhere, Jimmy busts down the very walls of rock and roll with his rectified guitar riff that stuns anyone who is listening, and that sent goosebumps up my back when I heard it. This is definitely an extremely dynamic album, but again not one of the best.
Lyrics — 9
Robert was still ripping off of bluesman at the time of the second album, which caused Led Zeppelin to be sued by Willie Dixon in 1987, by citing similarities between his 'You Need Love', and 'Whole Lotta Love'. Robert vocals on this album are much more dynamic than on Led Zeppelin I, and he takes (in my opinion) a much more emotional approach to his singing. Two examples of this are 'Thank You', and 'What Is And What Should Never Be'. Also 'Ramble On' was a great vocal point of the album. The rest of the album is really blues heavy, and is typical of Led Zeppelin. Pretty good vocals.
Overall Impression — 8
Great album. Absolutely phenomenal. All the songs on the album are distinct, and clearly a Led Zeppelin song. The greatest song on this album is without a doubt 'The Lemon Song' because it combines so many blues and rock elements, as well as timing experiments. Thats all Led Zeppelin albums are. Just experiments with music and sound. The thing that gets me is again Jimmy's sloppy guitar playing, coupled by my admiration for his talent of salvaging. His guitar playing is the thorn in my side on almost every album, except maybe Presence. The Zeppelin discography is not complete without this album as I said for Led Zeppelin I. If I lost it, I wouldn't go but it (twenty dollars at the cheapest) but would definitely burn it. I don't think I could last long without hearing Robert sing, "Shake for me girl/I wanna be your backdoor man." Amazing album.