Sound — 10
Led Zeppelin has never been matched in their heavy metal/blues rock sound, and this album may very well be the reason why. From blues inspired banshee wailings of Robert Plant and one of the stable guitar riff on the first track, Black Dog, all the way down to deep tones of When The Levee Breaks. This album's sounds vary from some of the heaviest beats, riffs, and vocal sounds ever heard in the decade, and frankly since then, to folk-ish and docile. Jimmy Page and his Les Paul (among other Gibsons) created some of the greatest guitar riffs in history on this album, always supported by John Paul Jones's bass playing. John Bonham (Bonzo) was responsible for the heavy background beat, always a huge part of the sound, and of course they were all fronted by Robert Plant, who just wrenched those words out to contend with the best.
Lyrics — 8
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were putting down tolken blues lyrics, and I love that, but to be honest I do think they could have been better, but I'm comparing the lyrics to the rest of the music surrounding them; which was utterly impressive, to say the least. While lyrically, Stairway to Heaven is a shining gem of the album and of music in general, the other lyrics just seem to be overshadowed by the way their being delivered (which, if there is a definitive 'way', they are being delivered in one of the best) and by the riffs and beats backing them. That's not a bad thing at all for the overall song, but it just makes the lyrics shine a little bit less. I think Plant and Page would be hard pressed to match the excellence of the music to the skill at which they would be sung, or shrieked, and surrounded with by guitar, bass, and drums. Despite any of that though, Robert Plant is possibly my favourite frontman and singer ever. He just seems to bring those words right up from his soul, defining soulful. He's capable of tones to the lowest low and highest high, at any volume. He also just has a charisma about him. Though, everyone in Led Zep did. You can just tell he knows he's good (if not amazing) along with everyone else in the band.
Overall Impression — 10
For as heavy as Led Zep was? I don't think you can compare any other albums to this album. The only comparison I see in that department, is Led Zeppelin I. But, for being possibly the definitive album of a band. I think you can easily compare it to Pink Floyd's masterpeice, Dark Side Of The Moon. While two entirely different album's, their epic-ness is the stuff of legend. I, personally liking and thinking of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd as equals, have often tried to compare the two, and cannot. Other than DSOTM, I think that within reason, ZoSo is unequalled. In my opinion, the most impressive songs on the album are the first and last, Black Dog and When The Levee Breaks. Black Dog is just ever-moving and switching between Plants soulful vocals, and the thunderous sounds of the rest of the band, lead by Jimmy Page's legendary riff. The solo should also be considered a crowning acheivement of Page. When the Levee Breaks just exudes heavyness, and power. If you were two split the album in two, between the 'styles of songs', Levee is the heavy version of Stairway to Heaven. Stairway To Heaven is by far the most impressive song, but that is outside of my opinion. While hypocritical, I admit that it may be one of the best songs ever written or played. But it just doesn't appeal to me musically as other songs on the album. I love just about everything on the album, I don't think I need to go in to specifics, it's only my opinions, which I've given plenty of already. The only thing I dislike isn't the fault of Led Zeppelin, it's just a selfish dislike; I think Stairway To Heaven isn't nearly as good as Battle of Evermore, which is definately one of my top favourites of Led Zep, but when I really compare the two seriously, Stairway still wins out. I just personally don't like that, so I'm just weird. If it were stolen I would track it down and beat the person who stole it, I love my copy that much. Though, I would probably end up in a discussion about the album with the theif, because he obviously has good taste in music. If it were lost, I never intend on loosing it. Trust me. Yes, buy it, and listen to it at great length!