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X by Def Leppard

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Reviewed on 1st August 2002.



By Def Leppard

A brief introduction for some of our younger readers: Def Leppard formed in the late 70s, and featured five 'longhaired lovelies from Sheffield' TM. The band blasted their way through the eighties and early nineties, wooing the girls along the way with flowing locks and cracking rock songs like Lets Get Rocked, Make Love Like A Man, Excitable and Pour Some Sugar On Me (get the idea?).

What seemed like raw energy at the time, as the northern boys flew the rock'n'roll flag for England, is pretty tame and dated now when compared to the nu-metal and more progressive rock scenes but still, pop-rock is ok and they excelled at it.

For those who may remember singing along to Lets Get Rocked (with the alternative lyrics of course) you may be happy to know that Def Leppard are still going strong, and their latest album X - their tenth to date - is likely to enter the charts high at the end of this week. And it won't just be the hardcore fans that will be buying it, there's still a freshness there that will endear the band to a new set of UK rock fans.

Well written and excellently produced, this album features thirteen tracks, including a UK-only version of Scar which has a great catchy chorus "All that you are, All you believe, All that you take, All that you leave, All that you use, All that you find, Can't take away the scar you left behind" delivered in classic Joe Elliott style; somewhat similar to Hysteria-era songwriting.

The album verges towards the poppier end of the rock scale - Bryan Adams country at times but a touch heavier - and an awkward attempt at rap during Gravity also sounds well suited after a few plays. It's like they've always played like that.

Cry sounds remarkably familiar too, whilst Four Letter Word is a stomping tune with an Aerosmith slant. It's a welcome surprise to see Def Leppard continue to represent their rock music roots so well, and in X they exhibit very few problems with writing a quality album for a 21st Century market.



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