Thursday, 28 January 2016

Def Leppard, Album Review

Anyone who’s read either of my blogs when I was writing a few years back would be well aware of my affection for Def Leppard.  Pyromania and Van Halen’s 1984 were the first two albums I can clearly remember falling in love with and they were the first two bands that I ever really “got into”. And I really got into them too.  It wasn’t long after I discovered Pyromania that I needed more Def Leppard and the first two records, On Through the Nigth and High and Dry were part of my collection.

Years passed and I still continue to follow both bands very closely.  I think for a lot of years many Def Leppard fans have been waiting for an album that would fit right in the middle of Pyromania and Hysteria, the bands two massive hit records.  I honestly think this is finally it.

There are those Def Leppard fans that think that anything they recorded after 1981’s High and Dry or maybe 1983’s Pyromania is garbage. Don’t get me wrong, I love those early records, but if you are going to think of the Def Leppard sound it’s Pyromania and Hysteria onward, for the most part, that makes them who they are. If you are a fan of Def Leppard but have not really followed their work in the studio since the early 90’s I think you should give this one a try and I think you will more than like it.  Although not overly detailed or maybe even that insightful, here is a very quick tour of this latest self titled release.

Let’s Go: The first song and single has a definite similarity in places to some of the Pour Some Sugar on Me riffs.  It has a different feel, is a solid opening track and is already in the live set list, as it should be. 

Dangerous: This is probably my favorite track on the album.  An upbeat rocker with catchy riffs, a big chorus and in places I am almost hearing shades of the song Photograph from Pyromania shining through.  This is what I consider to be the classic Def Leppard sound.

Man Enough:  A odd but catchy track.  It’s driven by a baseline that is undoubtedly comparable to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust

We Belong: The album slows down for first time for this ballad in which all five members of the band take a hand in the lead vocals.  They work through the verses with each one singing a line.  I like this song a lot.  It’s the first slower Def Leppard number I think I have really enjoyed since the ballads on Hysteria.

Invincible: Kind of a steady, catchy mid tempo rocker. If I compared the song's “speed”, think Animal from Hysteria.

Sea of Love: This one picks up the pace a bit more and the verses are a little heavier.  The chorus mellows a bit with the typical Def Leppard harmonies.  Great song.

Energized: A slightly different track that sounds a bit electronic.  It slows down a bit to more of another mid tempo number.  It is catchy again and still sounds very Def Leppard.

All Time High: Upbeat, rocking, big chorus and needs to be played live. Another one that you could throw on Pyromania or Hysteria and it would fit right in. I hope it finds its way into their set list.

Battle of My Own: A, hmmmm, groovy maybe, acoustic driven song that is being described by many as the bands nod to Led Zepplin.  I like it, another solid track.

Broke ‘n’ Brokenhearted: I am not sure how to describe this one.  At first I thought, meh, but it really grew on me.  It’s just another upbeat Def Leppard song that’s easy to listen to.

Forever Young: When this one starts the guitars sounds like it could an early Def Leppard song.  It’s another harder upbeat one and again, has that chorus that you can easily sing along to.

Last Dance: Another ballad and this one is acoustically driven.  I am almost reminded of that period in the eighties when every band had to do one of these after Poison struck a huge hit with Every Rose Has it’s Thorn.  This one is works for me, probably better than a lot of those that came out in the eighties. 

Wings of an Angel:  Another solider hard rock track.  Parts of it sound like it could be back in the early Def Leppard era again.  Great song.

Blind Faith: The album closes with perhaps the most different track on the album.  A lot of things going on here.  A slow building guitar riff, nice sounding guitar solos in a few different places, psychedelic at times and it builds to a bit of a rocker towards the end.  Well done!  Love this track!

There you go.  Quick and not overly detailed but hopefully gives you some insight into this record. The band claimed some different styles going on here and there is certain evidence of that throughout but at the same time it is unmistakably Def Leppard.  I really do think this is their best release in a long time. I used to give albums grades before.  I suppose I should continue and I will give this one an A+.  Why not?  It's great fun from one of my favorite bands!

That’s all for now.  Hope your week is rockin’!! 


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