Def Leppard - Def Leppard

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Bands often say that they self-title the album they believe to most completely encapsulate their core sound, and for many bands that's their debut, but veteran English rockers Def Leppard have waited 35 years to make their 11th album, their first for seven years, eponymous. While it's highly unlikely any new Def Leppard album is going to be more characteristic of the band than their much-loved classic records Pyromania and Hysteria, they obviously realise that what they've made is as close to a return to their most popular sound as they've achieved since Promises (lead single 1999's Euphoria album), except this time they've done it for a whole album. It's not perfect. In between its irresistible riff and strong verses, the "Oh-o-o-ooh-ooh" chorus of lead single Let's Go is patently awful, Energized suffers from an ill-advised static effect, and one or two tracks (Invincible) become a little formulaic, but that's about all that's wrong with the album. Although closing an album with a ballad is never a good idea, Blind Faith with its bluesy solos is one of their best, the bass-led groove of Man Enough is one of their hardest, and acoustic rocker Battle of My Own, the brilliant Wings of An Angel, catchy, upbeat rock tracks All Time High, Dangerous, Forever Young, and Sea of Love, and Ricky Warwick-ish ballad We Belong (which sees all members take a turn on vocals) are all highlights. Several of these songs could easily drop into the live set and hold their own against established classics, and a good few have single potential too. This is without question the best Def Leppard album for over 20 years.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2015, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quickplay Reviews,

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