Seven years since their last album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, Sheffield’s biggest rock stars Def Leppard have returned with their eleventh studio album, Def Leppard.
Recorded in singer Joe Elliot’s garage, Def Leppard is the first album the band have created without a contract, allowing the band music freedom which is shown throughout the album.
The bands leading single ‘Let’s Go’ opens the album with the familiar distorted hard-rock guitar riffs and ear-worm melodies Def Leppard are known for. This distinctive sound is carried on with the fast-paced ‘Dangerous’ and the up-beat break-up song ‘Broke ‘n’ Brokenhearted’.
‘Man Enough’ brings a different, funkier element to the album with its bass-lead groove. However this paired with a drum solo mid-section and occasional minimalist guitar riffs creates a striking similarity to Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’.
The semi-acoustic ‘Battle Of My Own’ demonstrates that Def Leppard don’t rely on distortion and guitar effects to make a great track. With layering of complex guitar parts provided by Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen and with Rick ‘Sav’ Savage’s bass line to match, the song quickly becomes one of the strongest on the record. However, there aren’t many more to match.
One pit fall on the album comes in the form of the seventh track ‘Energized’. A catchy chorus filled with harmonies and repetitive lyrics should be the perfect recipe for a sing-along crowd pleaser but with the verses comprising of nothing more than chill-step sounding synthesisers and electronic drumbeats, ‘Energized’ sounds like a leftover from an All Saints album.
‘Wings Of An Angel’ redeems the record slightly with its anthemic chorus and husky rock vibe, but with a lack of songs at this standard, Def Leppard’s self-titled album will be one of the more forgettable of their repertoire.
Martha Gregory @