The mammoth critical and commerical success of 'Physical Graffiti' was always going to be a tough act to follow, and this album has often been dismissed as labouring under the shadow of their double set. Yet in many ways this album is the most genuine of all the Zeppelin discs considering the circumstances under which it was recorded. This is Zeppelin's most 'downer' record with a definite mood of the melancholy throughout, and understandably so (even the production gives an icy feeling). Robert Plant had recently lost his son and been involved in a car-crash, leaving him immobile for some time. This was Zeppelin's lowest point, and it seems that most of this record is them reflecting on such times, with the exception of the tour-de-force 'Achilles Last Stand' which is one of the most powerful recordings they ever laid down. Yet songs like 'For Your Life', 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' and 'Tea For One' all sound like one long hangover. According to Jimmy Page, the latter was the only time they ever consciously tried to revisit one of their older works, that being 'Since I've Been Loving You'. Only 'Hots On For Nowhere' has a really fun rock'n'roll feel to it, with Jimmy bashing out some cool Chuck Berry-esque licks. Compared to the likes of the dreamy 'Houses of the Holy', this is Zep's most depressing hour, but it's also their most honest. This may not appeal to those who aren't big Zep fans, but it deserves more credit.