Reviewing Greta Van Fleet’s “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”

Whether you are a Greta Van Fleet fan or not, they are certainly a household name worth talking about – especially in the wake of The Battle at Garden’s Gate. The issue, though, is are people talking about them because they love their work, or because they’re questioning it? If you’re asking the same thing right now, this article is for you.

The Downfall at Garden’s Gate

There are a few aspects of Greta Van Fleet’s The Battle at Garden’s Gate that didn’t leave people with the same warm and fuzzy feeling that their previous pieces of music brought on. (Their debut EP: Grammy winning, their last LP: chart-topping.) Standout single, “Heat Above,” drew people in, but only a handful of songs kept them listening after the fact.


Fans and critics alike have been discussing the production value of the album at length since it dropped on April 26. The lyrics and musicality from the band themselves is spectacular. It also only heightens the experience of listening to it because of its robust rock and roll aura. The mixing, mastering, and engineering of the album is where it fails. 


The live music quality that makes Greta Van Fleet who they are was lost among unnecessary production, autotune, and muddled soundscapes. It is the complete opposite of what people tuned into Jimmy Kimmel Live! to see just two weeks ago. In addition, frontman Josh Kiska’s vocals were lost in the sauce, so to speak, on a handful of songs. (Which says a lot, as the powerful vocalist has a range that can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Ariana Grande.)


Experience Spiritual Moments While Listening To Greta Van Fleet

Although, there are some standout moments where he gets to shine. The ethereal track “Tears of Rain” is a perfect example. Another track is an almost nine minute psych-rock meets prog-rock epilogue of music. Titled “The Weight of Dreams,” the closing track is anything but messy production wise and is an spiritual journey to listen to. Nobody’s questioning it’s length though, because regardless, it is a sound that is so exploratory and authentic in an age of inauthenticity.


Overall, in the technical space, Greta Van Fleet is at the top of their game. They are stellar musicians and lyricists with their eye on the prize in terms of inspiring with their nostalgic sound. Rock music in the 21st century would not be what it is without these chart-topping performers. There’s a reason that Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin fans are immersing themselves into this band’s career. (And flocking to listen to The Battle at Garden’s Gate.)


On the production side, there is some complexity and confusion that makes this album lack quality. Whether it was rushed or knocked around because of pandemic stressors, it could’ve been honed in on a lot more. Just a bit more thought covered furthered the widespread shine of this new record, we believe.


The Battle at Garden’s Gate is out now and it’s up to you to decide if the success it is having is worth it or not. Are people listening to it because they like good rock music? Or are they listening because they want to experience just what the critics mean by Led-Zeppelin-knock-off-group with shotty engineers?

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