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★★★½☆
(355 Reviews)

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  • Def Leppard may be back, but for many of us, they never went away. Hysteria really turned me on to the band, and I can still remember the anticipation I felt before the release of Adrenalize, nearly 5 years later. I had that feeling again in the weeks leading up to the release of X, and I’m not disappointed.Those who prefer the early days of Def Leppard (On Through The Night, High ‘N Dry) may not be too impressed with the band in 2002. However, for any fan who loves Def Leppard for the quality of the music and the strength of their melodies, this album will give you the shivers.1) Now – kind of an odd choice for first single, this one takes some time to grow on you. Melodically, it’s not their strongest work, but it combines some interesting sounds and a big chorus to strong effect.2) Unbelievable – excellent ballad, will make you “feel so damn good”. Strong, soaring chorus with great vocal harmonies.3) You’re So Beautiful – another winner, but very poppy. Catchy chorus with unmistakable Leppard background vocals.4) Everyday – sounds a lot like mid-90s Bryan Adams. This is not a bad thing. Lacks a huge hook, but very easy on the ears.5) Long Long Way To Go – simply their best ballad ever! Joe’s singing has never sounded so emotional. I still get chills every time I hear this song (after a few dozen plays). This will be the second single off the album, and should be a huge hit. You know that if one of today’s boy bands did this song, it would get massive airplay, but wouldn’t be nearly as good as this version.6) Four Letter Word – sounds like something AC/DC would do. Classic rockin’ tune, but not my favourite on the CD.7) Torn To Shreds – my favourite song on X. Starts off quiet, but don’t turn the volume up too high, or the next part will blow your speakers! The first verse slows it down a bit, but then comes the chorus. Pure ecstasy! Beautiful melody, and background harmonies the way only Def Leppard can do them. Simply amazing (but too short, less than 3 minutes).8) Love Don’t Lie – another strong mid-tempo ballad. Huge catchy chorus, pleasant acoustic background on verses.9) Gravity – would have fit better on Euphoria. Odd-sounding percussion on this one. Not a fave.10) Cry – the most non-traditional track on the CD, “Cry” takes a few listens to get used to. Lacks a big hook, but has some great guitar work.11) Girl Like You – very poppy, upbeat, with another great Def Leppard chorus. The vocals occasionally sound a little strained and too high-pitched, but still a very good track.12) Let Me Be The One – another beautiful ballad, but doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The CD probably could have used another hard rocker before this track.13) Scar – classic Def Leppard! Reminiscent of “Paper Sun” and “Day After Day” from Euphoria. Haunting guitar sounds building to the massive chorus where Joe finally gets to let loose with his trademark howling vocals. A fantastic way to end the album.X keeps Def Leppard up with the times while still retaining their classic sound. This is not a metal band, and frankly, I don’t think they were ever a metal band. They are a group of guys in their early 40s committed to recording strong, memorable music, and they have accomplished this goal admirably with X. If you are a fan of beautifully executed melodic rock, you won’t regret picking up X.

    Posted on December 21, 2009