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‘Def Leppard'
Released 30th October

mark taylor

def leppard

This is the first studio album from Def Leppard since 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge' released seven years ago. Def Leppard are making a statement with this eponymous titled album, their tenth studio album featuring new original material.

As Joe Elliott commented on the release "It's just called 'Def Leppard' because that's what it sounds like. It dosn't sound like any one specific era of Def Leppard. It's got everything...."

There's certainly nothing wrong with making an album that sounds exactly like your own band, AC/DC and Status Quo have both made an entire successful career of doing exactly just that. But while this album does have an unashamed 80s arena rock flavour, it does indeed have a taste of everything from commercial rock, all out belters, ballads acoustic grunge and even funk.

The most diverse album since 'Slang' and on the whole 'Def Leppard' is a more accessible album for the listener.

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There are a few reasons why Leppard haven't been busy in the studio these last few years; successful worldwide tours, Joe Elliott getting it on with his Down 'N Outz project plus the ongoing cancer treatment for guitarist Vivian Campbell. Def Leppard once again must be saluted for carrying on as normal in the face of adversity.

'Lets Go' the opening track split opinion when released to the public a month ago. A simple rocker with an unimaginative and pedestrian chorus left many thinking the game was up for Leppard, especially with its 'Let's Get Rocked' type sonic intro and 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' riff. However it's a grower of a number and is sure to be a future live favourite.

'Dangerous' , also released in advance, has a riff similar to the global smash of 'Photograph', it's good, it rocks but not totally dangerous.

From here on the album actually gets a whole lot better and features songs that are, in the words of guitarist Phil Collen "More liberating and expressive."

The biggest surprise comes with the Savage funk of 'Man Enough'. The lyrics flow in the same way as 'Make Love Like A Man' with Joe Elliott asking "Are you man enough for a guy like me". This is as funky as Dan Reed Network in their prime although the instrumental mid section is a little too close to Queen's 'Another Bites The Dust' for comfort, but at least Joey and the boys resisted from singing "Ice Ice Baby" in the fade out.

'We Belong' is a smooth commercial breeze which will sound great on American rock radio while driving down the freeway, a future hit.

def leppard
Photo: Ross Halfin Photography

'Invincible' is the kind of tune Bon Jovi knocks out these days, but this stadium belter is the real deal and once again featuring some solid bass work from Rick Savage.

A little bit messy but there's a cool psychedelic Beatles flavour on the chorus of 'Sea Of Love'.

The opening drum beat and riff from Hanoi Rocks' 'Malibu Beach' introduces 'All Time High' which along with 'Forever Young' is Leppard rocking out at full pelt.

There's a change of direction on 'Battle Of My Own', a bluesy grungy riff that builds up into Zeppelin proportions. There's more acoustic flair too on 'Last Dance' which will get the hearts melting.

'Broke 'N Brokenhearted' is a punky number in the vein of the Alarm or The Almighty, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Joey's buddy Ricky Warwick had a guiding hand in this raunchy number.

There's so much to find on this album, although it doesn’t contain the big commercial hits but I can declare that this is the best and certainly most diverse album since the mega million selling 'Hysteria'. It's an album where each fan of the band will have their own personal favourites.

'Def Leppard' is released a month early in the UK in a special Classic Rock magazine that features the CD plus interviews with the whole band.

Now what are you waiting for "Do you wanna get rocked?"

def leppard

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