(9/10) Wow. In which fontaine of youth felt those guys? It seems that the British megasellers of Def Leppard found back to their own roots.
But let's take it step by step. I haven't expected a lot of Def Leppard. I grew up with "Pyromania" which was one of the first vinyls I ever bought and I waited, like many many more, for "Hysteria" which took the band four years to write, produce,...,release. But whatever came afterwards was pit against the platinum seller and the band never even came close to this modern hardrock masterpiece.
It was in 2008 when my focus went again a bit more towards the five-piece from Sheffield, UK. "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge" came with some quite good songs that gave some hope for a potential next album.
OK, Def Leppard has never been in a album-tour-album-tour-... rhythm. And since the "Hysteria"-times they also need time for their records. It has been seven years to come up with the new longplayer, simply named "Def Leppard". If you have "Def Leppard" two times mention it also should contain "Def Leppard". To my very positive surprise it also delivers.
The first thing you hear are some keyboard samples, but already the vocals remind to earlier days. "Let's Get Rocked" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" came to my mind when I heard "Let's Go" for the very first time. It's a medium pace rocker with a strong beat and a highly melodic, but not cheesy, chorus.
OK, maybe this is just a flash in the pan. No, it's not. "Dangerous" is one of the most rocking tracks since "Pyromania". Def Leppard discovered again that they have guitarists in their band. And also track number three is an excellent one. What a bassline. It brings back memories of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" combined with a pretty good riff that joins the party here and there. This songs is 100% groove.
A bit of sugar sweet cliche is needed, even though not necessary. "We Belong" is one of those typical Def Leppard ballads that are dressed for success, but also don't belong to my favorites on each of their albums.
But the ballad is just a short intermezzo before the guys find back to their rocking guitars. "Sea of Love", "All Time High" and the powerful "Broke 'n' Brokenhearted"; each of them an excellent song that makes fun and spreads a cool party vibe.
What's new and cool is "Battle of my Own". It's an accosutic track that has a strong country touch. Def Leppard enters partly new areas with this tune that fits them very well.
The longplayer comes with fourteen songs and Def Leppard can keep the tension high till the last note. Yes, there is a more trivial track like "Forever Young" on the album too, but numbers like "Wings of an Angel" and the relaxed closer "Blind Faith" can easily compensate for this.
Def Leppard's new studio album is one of the biggest surprises in 2015. I hoped for such an album, but I never thought that it would see the light of day. Def Leppard proved me wrong and that's fantastic.
If you're a fan of the early Def Leppard days, than you need to check out this record. You will like it.
- Let's Go
- Man Enough
- We Belong
- Sea of Love
- All Time High
- Battle of my Own
- Broke 'n' Brokenhearted
- Forever Young
- Last Dance
- Wings of an Angel
- Blind Faith
Release Date EU: October 30st, 2015