DEF LEPPARD – Songs from the Sparkle Lounge

Def Leppard – Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008, Bludgeon Riffola/Island Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Go” – 3:20
2. “Nine Lives” – 3:32
3. “C’mon C’mon” – 4:09
4. “Love” – 4:17
5. “Tomorrow” – 3:35
6. “Cruise Control” – 3:03
7. “Hallucinate” – 3:16
8. “Only the Good Die Young” – 3:33
9. “Bad Actress” – 3:03
10. “Come Undone” – 3:33
11. “Gotta Let It Go” – 3:55

Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals
Phil Collen – Guitars, Backing vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitars, Backing vocals
Rick Savage – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums, Backing Vocals

I had been pretty excited about this release as the clips I had heard online were pretty good. Yes, even “the Tim McGraw song” aka – “Nine Lives”. Def Leppard is one of my favorite bands but they’ve struggled since the 90s with trying to balance the Mutt Lange sound with their desire to sound current and appeal to the mainstream. It’s led to some mixed results in the past and has done so here again.

The album starts off really strong with the heavy “Go”, then leads into the catchy “Nine Lives”. “Nine Lives” may feature Tim McGraw, but it’s the song that sounds most like “classic” Def Leppard on this album. “Love” is next and is starting to grow on me, although I initially didn’t like it. It’s almost like an outtake from the YEAH! sessions, except it’s not a cover song at all. It reminds me a lot of glam rock though.

“Bad Actress” seems to be getting the most praise from reviews I’ve seen, and although it’s definitely the most “rock” of all the songs on the album, it just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

Luckily, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge easily trumps their last original studio album, 2002’s X, but it unfortunately fails to match the quality of 1999’s Euphoria, in my opinion. I read Def Lep tried to get Mutt Lange in the studio for a few songs, but that he was too busy to do it. That’s a shame, because this is certainly a good album, but a little help from Mutt could’ve made it great.

Don’t get me wrong though, I do enjoy the album and if you’re a Def Leppard fan that has actually moved past the “I wish they were still heavy metal” phase in your life (That was was over 27 years ago, people, get over it!), then I suggest giving it a listen.

By the way, the album cover is horrible.

Highlights: “Go”, “Nine Lives”, “C’mon C’mon”, “Tomorrow”, “Hallucinate”, “Come Undone”, “Gotta Let It Go”

Posted on May 3, 2008, in Collection, Def Leppard and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Bought this when it came out for $9.99 last Tuesday. So far, I like it. It’s a little mellow compared to prior efforts but it’s in the same frame as X and YEAH! sound wise.

    Heavy Metal Addiction

  2. I actually like this one more than I expected to.

    I think the album title sucks, but oh well.

    Definitely better than X, although I didn’t totally hate that one either.

    Rob Rockitt
    Hard Rock Hideout

  3. Songs from the Sparkle Lounge…
    As a long time dedicated fan, I can tell you more work went into the title of the disc than the production.
    The band that brought us “Wasted”, “Get Your Rocks Off” and the classic “Sugar” has stooped to slopping a bunch of demos together and disgustingly enough, adding some fat country singer to the mix and releasing it.
    I find it “Unbelievable” the band that risked bankruptcy to ensure Hysteria was perfect would release such a piece of audio crap. If you can hear shit, this is what it sounds like. I never thought I’d live to see the day where Def Leppard started copying Bon Jovi, and yet hear it is.
    What I wanted to know is who decided to jump on the “country” bandwagon in the hopes to sell a few more cds? Who decided to dump this unfinished, unpolished, piece of crap on the market?
    Save your money and pick up a copy of Slang, the band’s last truly inspired work.

  4. Nicole, thanks for the comments. What did you think of Euphoria? It’s one of my favorite Leppard albums.

    Y’know, Slang is the only album I’ve never owned, but I have heard bits & pieces of it but I wasn’t impressed by it.

  1. Pingback: Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More « Metal Excess

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