Monday, August 05, 2002

Def Leppard - X

Def Leppard have clawed their way back up from what many may call commercial missteps and (following up the success of 1999's Euphoria album) they now release their tenth studio album, aptly titled, X. Oddly enough, this is their first studio release with more than one producer.

With a mix of producers, you'd obviously hear some style differences. One example is "Gravity" which makes use of some slight electronic touches with a near rap-paced chorus. The beautifully crafted first single "Now" contains guitar-work that goes from beautiful harmonics to aggressive near-Metallica moments without losing a step. Joe Elliot shows he still has amazing pipes as the band rips through the catchy "Torn To Shreds." "Scar" is a bittersweet gem with scorching solos. The haunting acoustic ballad "Long Long Way To Go" is a hit just waiting to happen (it is rumored to be the second single). The energetic rocking "Cry" is good reminder of where the band has come from while "Four Letter Word" has a ballsy strut to it (even though I think I missed what the word was somehow.)

X is a triumph. This will go down as a classic Def Leppard album right next to Pyromania and Hysteria. The only negative thing that I could say about it is that X is heavy on emotional content but that's not entirely bad either. The trademark band vocal harmony isn't lost here and helps hold things together well. I will go out on a limb and say this is the best album I've heard this year.

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