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Released: 2002, Mercury
I spend a lot of time thinking about my reviews, writing them in my mind’s eye ahead of time, before putting thoughts to paper. I gave this album a lot of thought and had a very long review prepared. I had theories about the evolution of Def Leppard, the context in which this new album could be placed in the Def Leppard history and so on. But then it hit me…why? Just because I have the forum write theories about DL doesn’t mean I should. Besides, I figure no one wants to read my long-winded theories about these guys anyway. Sometimes less is more so lets cut to the chase.
This album sucks. Vigorously.
This album of watered down pop rock is fundamentally flawed on almost every level. Let’s start with the boring cover and title. Besides being uninspired and unoriginal they can’t even get the name of their own album right!! The title does not make sense. “X” the Roman numeral is supposedly representing the number ten. Ten what? It is not their 10th release. It is not their 10th studio album. It is not their 10th anniversary. There are not even ten songs on the album! I ask again, ten what? Why is it called ten? That is just stupid. The band can’t even count now? I know! It has been 10 years since the band last made a decent album (Adrenalize in 1992).
The band now looks and sounds like a boy band and it is painfully obvious that Def Leppard is now unashamedly targeting the teenage girl market. Even the heaviest song on the CD (and I use that term lightly) could barely qualify as hard rock. I am a chump. I watched the news of the upcoming album with anticipation and like a fool, I fell for the label and band hype suggesting is would be a heavy return to the roots.
Listening to Def Leppard is like a watching a loved one die a long slow painful death from cancer. I carried some sense of optimistic hope and believed that the band managed to (barely) stave off death with Euphoria. I thought this would at very least be the first if somewhat painful step in a long road to recovery for this terminal patient. Are they dead yet? No. Is this the last nail in the coffin? Not quite. There is a glimmer of life to been found within the song structures, some vague memory of rock harmonies and melodies hence saving this CD from getting the dreaded zero and flat-line status.
My prognosis is that this band desperately has to come back with a long, long-overdue, crushing, triple live CD that might revitalize this fading entity. Then and only them can they shake a 10 year history of bad mistakes, poor decisions, and finally perhaps start on the road to recovery. Will this happen? Unlikely because hundreds of thousands of teenage girls just went and bought this CD giving the band another few years of life. The sad thing is, the patient doesn’t even realize they are sick. Shame.
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