Rolling Stone’s review for ‘Songs from the Sparkle Lounge’

In the nineties, when producer Robert “Mutt” Lange disappeared into Switzerland with Shania Twain and dump trucks full of cash, he left Def Leppard stranded. Lange produced and co-wrote their best-selling release Hysteria, and the band tries hard to re-create that album’s magic on Songs From the Sparkle Lounge. “Go,” the opener, has the group’s signature layered vocals, crunching guitars and Seventies glam-rock vibe. But when the fivesome team up with Tim McGraw in a desperate country-crossover attempt on “Nine Lives,” the results aren’t pretty. From there, the band’s on cruise control — especially on the politically tinged “Cruise Control” and the Kansas-style power ballad “Love” — with songs that feel like inferior versions of hits two decades past. Def Leppard show signs of life on the headbanging “Bad Actress,” which takes on the Lindsay Lohans of the world, but it’s clear they’re missing their old producer. We await their 2010 Timbaland-aided comeback.

 Not that RS is the end-all be-all of reviews. I generally expect them to trash any rock/metal acts, especially if they’re no longer a huge commercial success. That’s just their way, but… I’ve looked at a few blogs and they’re pretty much saying the same.

I haven’t had the chance to listen to the whole album, but I’ve liked what I listened to. “Go” and “Nine Lives” are really good (although McGraw’s appearance is worthless and pointless). I’ll be picking it up not too long after it comes out, so expect a recap of it then.

At least they aren’t doing the lame boyband & ballad stuff like they did on X and are making an attempt to return to their rock & roll roots.

UPDATE: MY thoughts on the album are here.


Posted on April 22, 2008, in Def Leppard, News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Rolling Stone are fools!! First of all, Tim on Nine Lives does NOT make it country and second, the whole album ROCKS and Def Leppard would not lower themselves to the Timbaland crap!!! Songs From The Sparkle Lounge is TRUE rock!!!!

  2. Rolling Stone never gets anything right. They have been whores to the mainstream and establishment for decades. I had a free subscription for two years from some promotion I signed up for and all I did was put them in the recycling bin.

    As far as Def Leppard…..I was disappointed in the last record because it was all covers but EUPHORIA and X were awesome. I expect the band to play their brand of Hard Rock but modern. These guys don’t want to be Metal, they don’t want to be classifeid as a hair band, they just want to make Rock music. Their past success entitles them to do what they want, with or without Mutt Lange.

    Heavy Metal Addiction

  3. Just read RS’s “review” and i’m shocked, what imbecile reviewed the album? He has no clue about Def Leppard, i’ve been a fan for many years and have complete faith in them delivering a rocking good album. I also heard the Rockline stuff and it was great! Def Leppard do what they do and they do it extremely well, no band on this planet sounds like them. They’ve always experimented with their sound and no matter what direction they may move in, it will always sound like them. They’re roots in old school rock never leave them, you can hear the influences in every song they write. Just a little tip RS, try finding someone who actually likes rock music to do a proper review, shame on you guys

  4. Eric Tremblay

    First off.. McGraws appearance in ‘Nine Lives’ didnt hardly make it any worse, or any better. Its just an added feature and sound for the band to try to appeal to as many fans as possible. Honestly, I dont think its bad. And I’ve had the time to review the entire album.. I can honestly say that 10 out of the 11 songs are classic Def Leppard, and have a good sound. ‘Love’ is the only one that seems to stand out a bit, with its quiet sort of ballad approach. But given the chance, it’s a situationally fine track as well. My personal favorites from the record are ‘Come Undone’ ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Go’ ..And of course the single ‘Nine Lives’. There arent too many records you can stand to hear from front to back, this is alike all other Def Leppard records, in that it keeps you willing to listen the songs out.
    In my opinion, they measured up to everyones expectations. And I dont mind the wait in between records, because they always show the talent and effort put into them. Even with yearly gaps in between records, they’ve still managed to sell 65 million total records, and have countless singles, and go platinum on multiple records as well. Not to mention appearances on many shows, winning awards, touring most every year.. And so on.
    They’re personally my favorite band, solely for their sound, but ultimately they’re one of the best bands to ever surface.. And even at my ripe old age of 21, I can appreciate their approach to music, and I hope they never retire. -Thank you.

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