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'
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after Wembley Stadium rant
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Taylor Swift banned from Triple J Hottest 100: Fans react to epic #Tay4Hottest100 defeat
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally