Def Leppard are back baby and OMFG is this just one hell of an LP. OK, enough of getting down with the kidz let’s get down to the job at hand ..
It’s been 7 years since we have last seen a full studio release for the Sheffield Quintet .. has been worth the wait … absolutely. With this LP the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inducted music icons have taken a huge nod to their Glam Rock heroes. You can hear the influences of Bowie, Bolan and Mott The Hoople all over this record .. yet its sound is as fresh as it can be.
These boys know how to make full use of modern technology to make what could be heralded as their best LP to date … What ?, I hear you say, better than the iconic Hysteria LP? Absolutely .. This is an album that once again will bring rock music to the forefront for a modern-day audience, just as it did in 1987. Def Leppard at their accessible best ..
There really is not one single track on this LP that is a filler and you can take that to the bank.
As many vocalists from this era struggle to maintain their edge as time passes, Joe Elliot just seems to take it in his stride. His voice sounds as good now as it did “back in the day” and I firmly believe that the fact the band membership has not changed since 1982 (notwithstanding the tragic loss of the Steve Clarke RIP) means the band function as a true unit.
Kicking off with “Take What You Want”, a radio-friendly rocker if ever there was a tune, you know you are listening to Def Leppard and that’s exactly what we want to hear, that true Leppard sound. Catchy choruses, solid riffs and great production.
We get to Track 4 and finally, the boys slow down for a country-inspired ballad “This Guitar” . Oh boy have they pulled one out of the bag with the vocal performances on this track. Enlisting the vocal talents of Alison Kraus .. genius and the subtle country guitar licks .. just wow. A true lighter in the air moment.
“SOS Emergency” starts off with a slight Bryan Adams vibe .. but it’s as the song really kicks in that the Leppard sound suddenly takes over and this hard rocker could be my contender for song of the LP.
Keeping to their Glam roots, the band have enlisted the piano playing skills of Mike Garson (David Bowie) to turn “Goodbye for Good This Time” into a true pop ballad with that 70’s flare that only Elton and Bowie could do so well.
“Open Your Eyes” brings Sav to the fore with a thunderous bass riff whilst “Gimme a Kiss” has (the winner for a naff song title), without a doubt, a chorus that has you singing along in true Def Leppard Style. The country vibes return with “Lifeless” and then we are into the final 2 tracks, both classic Def Leppard
This really is a cracking listen and one that you will return to time and time again. The Album will no doubt sell by the bucket load and go down as the modern-day Def Leppard classic that it deserves to be… now when is my Vinyl going to arrive and where do I get my tour ticket from ….
The artwork for Diamond Star Halos is art in itself. The design follows pedigree with their instantly recognizable album covers from their celebrated past. With images by world-renowned photographer and director Anton Corbijn, styling concepts by Maryam Malakpour and graphics by the UK based Munden Brothers, the design truly follows the band’s influence through their eyes today.
Following the album’s release, Def Leppard will co-headline the massive 36 city The Stadium Tour with Mötley Crüe joined by special guests Poison and Joan Jett.