3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
REM and now Def Leppard in great album shocker!,
This review is from: Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (Audio CD)
"Songs From the Sparkle Lounge" signals a roaring return to form for the veteran Sheffield five-piece. The album starts strongly, with the anthemic 'Go', a hypnotically driving track not entirely dissimilar to Truth? from "Sl@ng!", but with a little more pace. Next follows 'Nine Lives', the band's current single with Tim McGraw, which is one of the weakest tracks on the album. McGraw's first line intro just seems a little out of place, because he isn't in the rest of the song. It's typical "Hysteria"-era Leppard, and not a bad toe-tapper, just nothing special.
Next up is 'C'mon C'mon', my personal favourite so far. Similar to Rocket, and what "Euphoria's" 'I'm Back' should have been. Sheer head bangin' good times. For 'Love', Def Leppard go all the way back to 'Lady Strange', with a nice love song in a minor key. Shades of Led Zepplin, strong vocals, and driving chorus. Nice. Next comes Phil Collins' 'Tomorrow'. Nice track, would fit on "X" pretty well. 'Cruise Control' continues the hypnotic bass that resonates through this album, and must have given Rick Savage terrible finger cramps. Lyrically straight from "Sl@ng", and would feel at home there, or on "Retro-Active".
'Hallucinate' is possibly the only weak track on the album. Like 'Run Riot' or 'Don't Shoot Shotgun' on "Hysteria", it's just a little unnecessary. Wouldn't have been a bad B-side, but just doesn't do anything for me. Back on form, 'Only The Good Die Young' takes you right back to the giant hair and sparkles of 70s glitter rock. Think '10538 Overture' from "Yeah!", or "Pyromania" and you're there. 'Bad Actress' continues the relentless pace, not a million miles from "Retro Active's" 'Action'.
"Songs From the Sparkle Lounge" ends as heavy as it began, 'Come Undone' is classic rock at its finest. 'Gotta Let It Go' is up there with 'C'mon C'mon', a blinding anthem, sending out a message that Def Leppard can still deliver. For "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge", Def Leppard have taken the same approach as R.E.M. recently have with accelerate. They've gone back to basics, there's still the classic 'Leppard' sound, but it's the Leppard sound of "Pyromania" and "Hysteria", not the over-produced glass shatteringly squeaky sound of "Euphoria". Whereas "Euphoria" was billed as a return to the roots of "Hysteria", "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge" goes back even further, borrows a healthy dose of "Sl@ng!" and "Retro-Active's" maturity in the process, sounds as raw as "Pyromania" and is as fast paced as "High 'n' Dry". A blistering, relentless return to form - powerful, heavy, mature, but with a healthy dose of Leppard humour. Welcome back boys, I knew you could do it. 5/5, or more accurately, 9/10.