Geffen, 1993

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


It's almost a requirement that every discount used-music pawn shop will have two discs in its collection -- R.E.M.'s Monster and this one.

And I can't understand why, or why David Coverdale and Jimmy Page didn't last beyond this one album. The naysayers will draw comparisons to Led Zeppelin; "Coverdale is just a copycat," "The majesty of Zeppelin will never be repeated," "This album has no point"...I can hear them now.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Well, screw the naysayers. This is excellent rock and roll, heavy on the riffs and stadium-ready sound and light on solos and virtuosity that one would expect from Jimmy Page. Yes, this may sound a bit like a Zeppelin clone, but what do you expect from the former Zeppelin guitarist? Besides, whenever Page wants to relive the glory days, he teams up with Robert Plant for an album or tour.

"Pride And Joy" has a series of Presence-era complicated riffs, half of which are acoustic, and a cool harmonica solo over top of stomping drums. "Shake My Tree" is driven by Page's mad finger picking, and "Feeling Hot" is an incredibly fast and hard song worth your time.

The slower songs build more atmosphere. "Take Me For A Little While" is built around a simple and depressing 11-note arpeggio and features some good singing by Coverdale. "Easy Does It" uses a 12-string guitar to great effect, with just it and Coverdale for the first half of the song. Even "Don't Leave Me This Way" makes the most of its simple picking pattern by creating a bluesy mood, similar to "Ten Years Gone" from Physical Graffiti.

"Absolution Blues" is one of the best tracks here, starting softly and adding on guitars and sound effects until it explodes into the verse and one the best riffs of Page's career. "Whisper A Prayer For The Dying" offers nothing different from the previous tracks but is still solid.

In fact, the entire album is solid and consistently entertaining, if stuck in the 80s. Coverdale's voice works well with Page's guitar, and the shifting dynamics and intelligence of each song are a cut above most 80s cock rock (it's hard to believe it came out in 1993). A few missteps clutter the album, but the other tracks set such a high standard that it's forgivable.

If you see this one in your local used bin, pick it up. It's perhaps the best work of Page's post-Zeppelin career.

Rating: B+

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© 2006 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Geffen, and is used for informational purposes only.