Def Leppard’s 2015 self-titled studio album, their first in seven years, is their best in two decades.
After over a decade of experimentation, the big, singalong backing vocals, heavy guitars, and thumping drums are back. From the anthemic call-to-arms of ‘Let’s Go’, the heavy guitars of ‘Dangerous’, and the sass and catchy bass-lick of ‘Man Enough’, to the positive thrust and lyrics of ‘Invincibl’e, the heavenly backing vocals in ‘Sea of Love’, and the lush dreaminess of ‘Energised’, Leppard show they still have what it takes to make a solid rock record. More than that, songs like ‘Last Dance’, ‘Touched by the Wings of an Angel’, and ‘Blind Faith’ show the band can be mature without losing the high energy and catchiness that made them chart toppers. Strangely, these songs are reminiscent in tone to Roxette’s mature album, Crash! Boom! Bang! – albeit with heavier guitars. More than that, Leppard show they really can sing, when each band member sings lead vocal on the touching ‘We Belong’.
Sadly, while the albums features a plethora of excellent tunes, songs like ‘Broken ‘n’ Brokenhearted’ and ‘Forever Young’ sound like filler, while the excellent chorus of ‘All Time High’ is marred by weak verses. Further, the album doesn’t reach the technical prowess of their seminal Hysteria album, however, makes up for it with its raw energy and gusto.
With its balanced selection of bombastic songs that are sure to be hits and mature tunes, Def Leppard is a well-balanced album and fantastic return to form for the band that showcases not only their energy but also their song writing prowess. Rock fans need to own this album.