Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy (1973), 7/10

I have a strange relationship with Led Zeppelin resembling an on again off again romance, but Houses of the Holy has always been the Zeppelin album that I can love during any stage of life. The band was thankfully done with stealing songs at this point, yet the compositions and performances are at an all-time high. "The Rain Song" is an undeniably beautiful ballad and "Over the Hills and Far Away" speaks for itself with its fantastic acoustic opening and extremely memorable and varied riffs, proving that Page could do more than imitate and borrow style. "The Crunge" is wonderfully funky, I particularly love John Paul Jones' contributions to this track and its groove; of course Bonham’s noteworthy contributions are all over the album not excluding this song’s funky drumming if you catch the borrowed intention. Towards the back end, "No Quarter" has always been one of my very favorite Led Zeppelin songs for its lucid performance and satisfying build, perhaps even one of my favorite rock songs of all time. While it is not exactly breaking any major conventions, among the classic “dad rock” albums cannon it is certainly among the very best. The only song I find reaching is “Dancing Days”, the rest wholly achieve their aim and pass with genuine flying colors as ambitious songs that can truly transport you during their narrative journey. It is remarkably consistent for its style and considering its breadth of genre borrowing. Houses of the Holy will never truly go out of style, surviving as a much more whole product and a greater work of integrity than their other lesser and more inconsistent albums.