C'Mon C'Mon Guys,
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This review is from: Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (Audio CD)
Def Leppard have had a bit of an up and down career. Peddling good old, no frills pub-rock in their beginnings, finding their own sound and switching to a type of glam/hard rock for the 80s frivolities, joining their peers Bon Jovi, Europe and Kiss in a sort of 'Big 4' of cheesy rawk, all the way through to their MOR leanings today. A mixture of all was evident on their last release, (I'm not counting YEAH - diabolical pub-band covers) X, to great effect. Songs from the Sparkle Lounge however treads water slightly. It's just MOR and not much else. That's not to say it's bad - i rate it quite highly compared to a lot of their recent back catalogue.
Opener 'Go' is a trademark DL track. It's catchy and urgent and driving and pretty darn good. 'Nine Lives' is ok and it does grow on you but there's something about it that screams filler. It has a different tone to the rest of the other album tracks; it's bluesy and country. It's good but I think it needs a bit more time to blossom than most. 'C'Mon C'Mon' is just a lazy, MOR Leppard party track. It's neither hear nor there which is a shame as after this the rest of the album starts to come into its own. 'Love' is, well, lovely. It's soft and deep and melodious and very well constructed. 'Tomorrow' sounds like 'Torn To Shreds' from X which is no bad thing as they are both excellent. Urgent, catchy and single-like.
'Cruise Control' is another excellent song with an interesting chorus. 'Hallucinate' bats a slightly lower average but it is nevertheless a good track, however the chorus could have been soaring when it is merely noticeable. 'Only the Good...' again ticks all the boxes nicely. The chorus and riffs are chunky and required. These aren't classics, just good, honest tunes. 'Bad Actress' is as bad as all of the swaggery, old skool rawk and roll, Motley Crue rip offs the band sometime weedle into an album. Oh I suppose it's not that bad but it does not excite. 'Come Undone' is good but no more, very MOR and filler but rather better filler than usual. 'Gotta Let It Go' is better and finishes it all off in an upbeat, yet serious manner. The piano-lead version of 'Love' is as good as the original.
All in all a minor triumph but they really need to stop coasting and produce another stunning classic before they get too long in the tooth.