Album: Def Leppard, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (Mercury)
Friday 02 May 2008
Def Leppard's career arc has been steadily declining since the heady mid-Eighties heights of Pyromania and Hysteria. With Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, the band try to regain their earlier spirit, but mostly succeed in summoning up polite echoes of former glories, some not even their own: the strident "Hallucinate" could be by Bryan Adams, the arpeggiated guitar of "Gotta Let It Go" recalls "(Don't Fear) the Reaper", and "Come Undone" opens like some heavy metal alchemist's dream combination of "Kashmir" and "Freebird".
Less appealingly (though aptly), the ghosts of Mötley Crüe and Poison are hanging around their chippy critique of celebrity culture, "Bad Actress". The production offers a more brittle approximation of Mutt Lange's painstaking wall of sound, and although most of the album is given over to stainless-steel rockers forged from trusty metal clichés, the most notable track is "Love", an acoustic guitar-based piece that suddenly expands a few minutes in with Queen-style compressed harmonies and widdly guitars, like a self-inflating rubber dinghy.
Pick of the album: 'Love', 'Come Undone', 'Go'
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants to be a stableman in period drama
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis is full of spoilers and existential questions
Pharrell Williams says 'Blurred Lines' criticism is out of context
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'