2015, Mailboat Records
1. “Let’s Go”
3. “Man Enough”
4. “We Belong”
6. “Sea of Love”
8. “All Time High”
9. “Battle of My Own”
10. “Broke ‘N’ Brokenhearted”
11. “Forever Young”
12. “Last Dance”
13. “Wings of an Angel”
14. “Blind Faith”
Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Phil Collen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick Savage – Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums, Backing Vocals
Producer: Def Leppard
After hearing “Let’s Go”, I was pretty hopeful for this album. After all, I liked the three new studio songs included on Mirrorball and “Let’s Go” sounded like a continuation in that direction of the band returning back to their famous ’80s sound after having a slightly disappointing turn with ’70s glam-rock style of Songs from the Sparkle Lounge from 2008. Yes, it’s been seven years since the last studio album. Even the album art looks great and gives off the impression that the band is possibly maybe going to be a bit darker and rock a bit harder. Well, don’t judge an album by its cover art.
Breaking it down a bit:
– “Let’s Go” has been called “Pour Some Sugar On Me, Part 2”. Not quite as poppy, but yes, it bears some similarities and I’m completely okay with that. It’s definitely the one song on this albfum that sounds the most like the Def Leppard of the ’80s.
– “Energized” is the weird type of lame electronic pop song Joe Elliott would like the world to think that the band has always played. This one could’ve been on X, and it should’ve stayed there.
– “Man Enough” is funk rock, and that’s really weird to hear from Def Leppard, but it’s kinda cool.
– “We Belong” is a very nice ballad which has the nice surprise of the band trading off on vocals. Has anyone other than Joe ever had a lead vocal on a Def Leppard song before?
– “All Time High”. Almost sounds like something that you’d hear from the last two KISS albums. Straight forward meat and potato rocker full of positivity.
– “Battle of My Own” is a trippy acoustic rocker. Maybe something that channels a bit of Slang and Led Zeppelin.
– “Blind Faith” is a ballad that blooms late into a rocker and it that seems to be channeling “10538 Overture” by Electric Light Orchestra (which the band has covered).
As you can tell, the album is all over the place stylistically. Much like with Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, Def Leppard seems content to draw inspiration from the sounds of other bands instead of focusing on their own original sound. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is left up to the each individual listener.
All told, Def Leppard is a good album, and it’s that’s better their last two original studio albums (Sparkle Lounge and X) but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed by it.
Highlights: “Let’s Go”, “Dangerous”, “Man Enough”, “We Belong”, “Forever Young”, “Blind Faith”