Def Leppard: Def Leppard
Eh? What year is it?? 1987 you say? The year of white snakes and def leppards? You must be hysterical if you think so. Or maybe not…
That's exactly how you feel when the lead single and opening track from the tenth studio album of original material from Sheffield's finest, Def Leppard, hits your speakers; 'Let's Go' a serious throwback to the band's classic and most popular album. However not in the homage paying (and a little second rate) manner Euphoria tried this trick - oh no. For this sounds like the real deal. However that "Dangerous" follows down the same riff strewn path, where singer Joe Elliott sounds as good as he has in years, and a layered vocal chorus is to die for, suggest the Lep's are back on vintage form and then some.
As a long time loyal follower of the band, personally I haven't hankered for a retread of the old days. However that "Dangerous" sounds more Pyromanical than Hysterical assures my immediate buy in. Cleverly however, as this self titled album unfolds, there's as much new as there is old, "Wings Of An Angel" a slowie, but in much grittier and honest fashion than much of the glistening ballads of old, while "Last Dance" relying on an acoustic guitar to create a classy, stripped back piece melodic bliss. Whereas"Blind Faith" and its shimmering strings reveals a Beatles influence that hasn't often come to the Lep's surface. It's also rather wonderful.
However what's set to get the fan's pulses racing is the convincing revisiting of this band's own signature sound, "Energized" a slower multi-layered pop and pulse of catchiness, "Sea Of Love" a full force riff machine that strongly reminds of the stylish output Steve Clarke used to provide. However we're not done there, the current guitar pairing of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell starring on the gyrating push and shove of "Invincible" and the Ramones meets Mott The Hoople of "All Time High". Add in the mature, almost modern rock of "Battle Of My Own" and the Queen "Another One Bites The Dust" pastiche of "Man Enough", where Rick Savage provides the John Deacon-esque bass line, while Campbell and Collen bring bright stabs of guitar, and Def Leppard, the album, is what this band appear to have been hoping to achieve for a long time – a collection of songs that will genuinely appeal to the 'Rock Brigade' of old, while still pushing the band's sound forward.
For an outfit fast heading for their 40th year (you read that right…), to finally release a self titled album is a bold statement. However Def Leppard is a bold album and one surely set to regain the acclaim this band have long, and always, deserved.
1. Let's Go
3. Man Enough
4. We Belong
6. Sea Of Love
8. All Time High
9. Battle Of My Own
10. Broke 'N' Brokenhearted
11. Forever Young
12. Last Dance
13. Wings Of An Angel
14. Blind Faith
Added: October 28th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Def Leppard online
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