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3.9 out of 5 stars
52
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 28 April 2008
After "X", and Euphoria to a lesser extent, I was a little apprehensive about a new album, and was worried about the likely direction. I couldn't be more wrong though.

This album is great. The guitars, which have been missing for ten years are finally back in a big way. The album is a mixture of influences, from different bands, and there is something in there for any Leppard fan.

Some of the highlights are the opener, Go, probably the hardest song the band have done, C'mon C'mon, which cannot do anything but grow on you, Bad Actress, a fun song which could be right off Hysteria, and Love, which although a ballad, the only one, is almost haunting. It is also not a typical ballad in any sense. The weakest track is probably Gotta Let it Go, simply because it just doesn't catch me like every other song on the CD.

So definitely the best album the band have done for a long time. The best since Hysteria? Quite possible, but time will tell.
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on 19 May 2008
I am a long time def leppard fan and have been very pleased with this album. The one thing I can't understand is why people constantly compare all leppard albums to Hysteria. Yes it was brilliant but it was also 21 years ago and the band have moved on since so why can't everyone else? I feel they are writing some excellent material now and it shows on this album.

Quite unusually for Leppard there isn't a lot of collaborative writing on this album - only two of the songs. The rest are all individual compositions. This in itself I feel shows how much the band have matured as writers. And yes there are a few fillers but every album has these - even the great hysteria. The stand out tracks are those written by Rick Savage - Cmon Cmon and love. The first has that real classic leppard arena sound and the second is a beautiful ballad with an almost classical feel and arrangement to it. The real surprise for me was the strength of the songs offered by Vivian Campbell. With the possible exception of only the good die young, his songs are amongst the strongest here and I feel that with this album, he has really contributed on the writing side. Well done Viv. The one thing I don't understand is the highly publicised collaboration with Tim McGraw on Nine lives - he sings four lines at the start. This appears to be a stunt to boost sales in America and the song is really strong enough to stand on it's own without this gimmick.

This is a strong collection of songs and is head and shoulders above most of the muck being realeased at the minute. For those of you still hung up on Hysteria, do yourselves a favour and move on. No it won't sell as much as Hysteria did but NO album nowadays does - appreciate this for what it is: A great rock album from a band still delivering the goods after 30 years, and how many can claim the same?
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on 27 October 2015
I eagerly anticipated the release of Songs From The Sparkle Lounge. It had been far too long without a new studio album. Whilst seven years on I look on it as a good solid but not great album, when it came out to these ears it was the best record since Euphoria.

Nine Lives was a good first single, again another great pre chorus and chorus. Not quite sure what Tim McGraw added to the song as he doesn’t sound that dissimilar to Joe Elliott. Good song.

Likewise, Go was a great album opener. Def Leppard like their mid-paced rockers to open albums and this is better than Now back in 2002.

C’Mon C’mon was the second and last single. It took what they loved about the Yeah! album and made one of their own. This is Def Leppard doing glam rock and it works well. Shame it didn’t get more exposure, particularly radio.

The rest of the album is solid stuff; Tomorrow, Only The Good Die Young, Hallucinate, Come Undone, Gotta Let It Go.

Bad Actress is ok, trying to recall their High N’ Dry style and pace. Cruise Control is heavy on the subject matter and is also good and different from the rest of the album.

The one let down for me was the ballad Love. It’s Def Leppard trying to be Queen. It’s well written, well performed and very well produced but it just doesn’t sit that well with the rest of this album. And there’s two versions of the same song.

So, a good album and certainly a welcome one. Played it to death when it was released and quite a bit since. My biggest gripes are the photo-shopped booklet (poor), the high end production (I’m sure aimed at the ipod generation. Listen to Nine Lives. It’s mastered way too loud), lack of bass guitar which is hidden too far down in the mix (apart from opener Go and Cruise Control) and the aforementioned two versions of Love.

Am I being too harsh? Possibly. At this juncture, Def Leppard didn’t have anything to prove. They had and still have a very loyal fanbase. I am a huge Def Leppard fan and I don’t like being critical because I love everything they do but SFTSL doesn’t sound quite as fresh as the day it came out. One thing that strikes me about this album is it’s been written and recorded separately. Any band I feel, especially Def Leppard sound better when they get together in a recording studio to make an album. This one was done bit by bit and it kinda sounds that way.

The biggest problem Def Leppard have (and it’s not a bad problem to have), is that everything they do is compared to the heights of Pyromania and Hysteria (even Adrenalize to a lesser degree). Most bands get one major triumph that they struggle to either repeat or move away from. Def Leppard have at least three. No matter what they do, it’s either nowhere near as good as their ‘heyday’ or trying too hard to replicate their heyday.

Songs From The Sparkle Lounge took the basic framework of the Hysteria and Adrenalize albums, with the 5 guys which made Euphoria and made a modern Def Leppard record. For me a very solid 4 out of 5.
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on 5 February 2013
I like this album.I only just got it and am a long way from being an old fan of DL even though I'm the right kind of age.In 1980-92,their glory years you could say,I was into gary numan,killing joke,sisters of mercy,nirvana etc and the main thing I thought about DL was how my hair was a bit like theirs,being blonde and curly!Somehow their songs have made their mark on me though and in the last few years I have become a Lepp fan!In hindsight they are a great band and I was too wrapped up in indie snobbery(or immaturity) to appreciate it.This album sees them going back to their roots a bit with touches of the 70's glam feel of bands like Sweet (who I liked as a nipper) although with a solid modern production, which in my opinion is a much better place than where their last album found them.It's a good listen all through for me,catchy rock/pop with their trademark sugary feel and vocal harmonies.And for anyone who thinks they are just like Bon Jovi,check out their cover of the Stooges 'Search and Destroy!'
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on 8 May 2008
I have to say that I partially agree with Simon Long on this. I stress only partially though!

When I first listened to the album I was very underwhelmed, especially considering all the positive reviews that I had read. The album doesn't compare to Hysteria or Pyromania in anyway, but I think this is where the problem comes in. I can't imagine that any Def Leppard album can ever live up to those masterpieces. I mean does anyone think that this is really going to happen?

However I have stuck with "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge" and I must say that it has grown on me more and more with repeated listens. I have resigned myself to the fact that Leppard are not going to reach the dizzying heights of their Hysteria days and am enjoying the album for what it is. Good fun, easy listening, rock 'n' roll! I think it is miles better than "X" and although very different I would say from my point of view it is their best since "Slang". If you didn't like Slang, that may not be a good thing though :-)

Anyway I think you should give this album a go, you may just like it, but don't be expecting Hysteria or Pyromania.
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on 19 May 2008
I read a review on here before I purchased the album which said it wasn't very good so I was a bit worried about buying it but did anyway as I am a big Leppard fan and goin to see them next month so thought it would be a good idea to listen to the new album before that and I have to say I'm pleased with it. Much better than X on which I only liked a few songs. A lot more of the classic Leppard guitar sounds - instantly recognisable as them, and I don't agree with some comments I've read about Joe's voice...of course it's going to sound different from Hysteria...that was however many years ago now. But I think they're sounding great. Particularly love Tomorrow. I feel that they've matured with their age...yes, a lot of their older fans want them to stay the same but they are going to change, and some of the songs sound as if they have been influenced by some of the cover songs on Yeah ("Only the good die young" has some "Waterloo Sunset" moments in it for example) but this is no bad thing. Keep it up guys!
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on 16 July 2008
I've listened to this album quite a few times now and tried to get into some of the songs they do on their current tour, but it does very little for me. This is so far removed from my favorite album of all time - Pyromania, which doesn't have a single duff track. I've got pretty much everything the band has done and all of the other albums have memorable tracks. I'll still be seeing them live and really enjoying the band but they're going to have to do better than this if I'm going to buy any more of their albums.
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on 4 October 2014
Songs from the sparkle lounge definitely shows the glam rock influences of Joe Elliot. As an update of glam rock sensibilities, the CD is a fun rocking album. It's a solid Def Lep album. Some great riffs. No stand-out tracks. Got To Let It Go is the closest. But I've always liked Def Leppard, since "On Through The Night". Worth a punt!!
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on 23 July 2008
When Hysteria was released it changed my life. It was the album that got me hooked into rock music and I've never looked back. The band's sound and image has influenced all my music preferences since - be it cool or not. `Pyromania', `High `N dry' and `On Through night' soon followed into my collection with each show casing the bands progression. The name John `Mutt' Lange on the production opened me up many other bands (mainly AC/DC, Foreigner , The Boomtown Rats Romeo's Daughter etc.) The follow up albums have never been able to match Hysteria and never could, although I've sure enjoyed each one. Adrenalize was a difficult follow up after selling millions of copies of Hysteria (we are now up to 20 Million now) but more importantly this was after the loss of lead guitarist Steamin' Steve Clark's due to his untimely death, and then the musical movement into `grunge' (which I believe was a term created by the media to create something different: Pearl Jam etc were just Rock bands - if they had been around in the 70's that's what they would have been labelled as -` Rock'). Slang tried to tap into that market but it wasn't what long time Def Leppard fans were looking for and it failed to capture new fans, as mature as the songs were - the album still had a great sound as did the stripped down tour (no `in the round' this time but a return to early days of a stack/wall of Marshalls amplifiers). Euphoria was a return to the classic formula (include the return of John `Mutt' Lange), but never really capture the general public's imagination (or at least in the UK - thanks to no promotion by the bands management). X as catchy as the songs were just didn't rock hard enough and Joe's voice by this point was not what it used to be as he was advised not to sing in a high pitch. Baring all this in mind, this is a solid Def Leppard album. It instantly sounds like Def Leppard - Any criticisms of soundiny just like anyone else are down to others sounding like them. Apart from the song `Love' (which I removed from my iPod - I just don't like it) this is solid Def Leppard which just gets better on every listen. The band on tour right now is on top form and the future looks bright. It's just such a shame they don't get pushed the way other bands from the 80's era do e.g. Bon Jovi , and as always they are completly ignored by the British music press (except Classic Rock).
If you like Def Leppard, give it a few spins and I'm sure you will feel the same way. I should know - I've subjected a few mates to this now!
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on 21 May 2008
Since the death of Steve Clark, Def Leppard have been trying to reinvent themselves: the experimental Slang, the back-to-basics Euphoria and the disappointing X. The new album promises much but delivers very little. Are they desperate for a hit? I think they could be by including Tim McGraw on Nine Lives - what's the point in that, don't the band think they're big enough to do it on their own anymore? Or more importantly, perhaps the record label don't. After compilations and an awful covers album, the fans deserved better. There are highlights though such as Love and Only the Good Die Young, but like all the other post-Clark albums it's inconsistent, confused and unsatisfying. In short this is no Pyromania or Hysteria and only just on a par with Adrenalize. Personally speaking, they should have released a live album/DVD to remind us all just how great they can be. Even by Def Leppard's standards, Leps fans have been waiting a long time for some live work.
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