Led Zeppelin - Presence review
|Release date:||March 1976|
01. Achilles Last Stand
02. For Your Life
03. Royal Orleans
04. Nobody's Fault But Mine
05. Candy Store Rock
06. Hots On For Nowhere
07. Tea For One
"Hots On for Nowhere" indeed. It seems the legendary Zeppelin burnt out the better part of their creative fuel for the successful double-album Physical Graffiti, and took quite a fall with 1976's Presence.
The band's seventh album kicks off with a dark ten-minute stomper that doesn't develop a whole lot but is still pretty good. It could very nearly be called heavy metal - something here instantly reminds me of the galloping style of Steve Harris but I'm not quite sure if it's JPJ's bass or something else. Robert Plant does a fine job similar to the previous few albums, while Jimmy Page delivers some truly great guitaring and Bonham gives a blistering performance on the drums. After this opener though, most of the songs could be considered filler. Tracks 2-6 are laidback rockers around the style of earlier hits "The Ocean" and "Custard Pie" but here are overlong and less successful. The riffs just don't stick like they used to, the structures are poor with un-rhythmic pauses and loads of unnecessary repetition, there's no lyrical spark like what appears in "No Quarter" and "Stairway", and - perhaps most disappointing of all - there are no shattering solos to be found. Closing track "Tea for One" sounds like a watered-down "Since I've Been Loving You" mixed with a hint of "No Quarter", inexplicably leaving out the explosions of brilliance from these earlier masterpieces. Its darkness and heaviness would normally have placed it among my favourite tracks but ultimately it's just too boring.
Production (on my remastered version, as always) is handled nicely by Page and thankfully the dodgy effects from prior works have been taken off Plant's vocals. Part of "Candy Store Rock" though has Plant singing a bit like Elvis Presley, which could be unsettling to a few of you.
Basically Presence is average and obsolete with two huge, intertwining flaws: All the songs are far longer than is ideal - even the 3 minute "Royal Orleans" feels like it drags - and we've heard it all before - much, much better.
Favourite tracks: "Achilles' Last Stand", "For Your Life", "Nobody's Fault but Mine"
Comments: 5 Visited by: 96 users
| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
| Bad English
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