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"Def Leppard" Album Review

Dec. 2, 2015
By KAT WILLIG

October 30th, 2015 marks the eleventh studio album of the legendary 80’s English hard rock band Def Leppard. This new self titled album contains fourteen clean cut, fast paced, yet funky and soul moving songs that one can’t help but dance and hum to.

 The album kicks off with a bit of a synthesizer going on within the first few seconds in “Let’s Go”, similar to their hit in 1987 “Love Bites”. Yet the song quickly rolls into catchy guitar riffs laid down by Phil Collen and Vivan Campbell, euphonious drum beats attributed to the famous one armed drummer Rick Allen, deep bass picking riffs formed by the “still trying to pull off that 80’s glam hair style at 54 but you got to love him anyways) Rick Savage, and finished off with slightly scratchy and attentive vocals accomplished by Joe Elliott.

Their second single on the album “Dangerous” begins with the familiar Def Leppard sounding guitar riffs and continues with the fast paced melodies, followed by a tuneful chorus and quickly emitted verses.

Other songs that should be noted for their unique qualities that resonate on a different level than most of their homogenous rock sounding songs are “Are you man enough”, for it’s deep funky bass picking in the beginning which is persistent throughout the entire song, followed by steadily groovy drumbeats and guitar riffs, giving the song a Queen’s 1980’s “Another One Bites The Dust” feel.

“Invincible” follows a fast paced sound matched with a chorus that overlaps multiple ranges of Elliott’s vocals mustering a catchy sound. Towards the second to last chorus a few seconds of a guitar solo kicks in that gives you nostalgia of their past records from the 80’s and 90’s (those albums including “Hysteria” and “Pyromania”).

Collen is most notable for using his 1978 Fender Stratocasters, Jackson PC1 “Eau Natural” which has a thick neck, mahogany body, and a maple top.  Another very prominent guitar that is affiliated with Collen is his Jackson Dinky 1986 Bela that features Bela Lugosi painted on the top, better known as the infamous Dracula. This guitar has appeared in many music videos, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for three consecutive years. Guitarist Campbell is known for his usage of Gibson, Les Pauls, and custom Anderson guitars especially his sparkly Les Pauls that he whips out during tours all over the world.  

Leppard’s self titled album finishes off with a few more catchy melodic filled songs, “Forever Young”, an acoustic “Last Dance”, “Wings of an Angel”, and “Blind Faith”.  The fourteenth song “Blind Faith” consists of steady guitar picking mixed with a slight twang sound, soft bass notes, and lyrics filled with feelings of uncertainty. The album as a whole stands out as one of their most unique, energizing, and 80’s rock sounding albums since the release of Hysteria in 1981.

The collective effort of each song resonates deep within any die hard fan of Def Leppard, or any person who gives this album a listen with an appreciation for music.  Each song is like its own story with the instruments being the words through which the story is told. Every single in this album has that infamous Leppard sound, with a zesty glam pop twist.  The self titled album definitely will prevail as one of their best hits since the late 80’s.