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Def Leppard does Def Leppard

...clichés tossed like salad, mixed like milkshakes

This here’s the own-it-now sound of the new Man-Machine.
  • This here’s the own-it-now sound of the new Man-Machine.

“He lost his arm in an arm accident,” as the noted futurist Mike Hamrick noted about Def Leppard’s drummer Rick Allen — but that’s left Allen stronger. Given pedals to cover his missing left appendage, Allen pounds in cyborg vitality; he’s Shawn Nelson in that purloined M60A3 Patton straight out of Kearny Mesa, 57 tons of drums crushing beats and naysayers, flattened sedans and Pabst cans alike on the road to rock.

"Let's Go"

...off of the new self-titled Def Leppard record

...off of the new self-titled Def Leppard record

“Shot out the gate first post to post,” sings Joe Elliott, “My pulse is set on overdrive/ Beat cardiac means I’m alive.” Leave Kraftwerk diddling with their “new” opus foot-dragging into a Krautrock Chinese Democracy. This here’s the own-it-now sound of the new Man-Machine.

Lyrics, yeah, you might have figured it already — every single line is a cliché! Tossed like salad, mixed like milkshakes, spun like any presidential hopeful save Trump must later or sooner spin inconvenient or even hideous truth; I had no idea you could paste or even cut coin-of-the-realm quotidian so many ways from Sunday. Allen propels, Elliott rasps, massed background vocals aerosolize, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell together about equal the late Steve Clark. Riffs build. Choruses explode. Don’t forget the occasional acoustic tease.

Okay, a few lines down at the end evade cliché. “Can you show me why/ I need to forgive,” which snaps especially hard after a whole running order of hard-rock Hallmark cut-ups. If “I” needs to forgive, does “I” know it? Does “I” care? Can “I” be persuaded? Food, not robots, for thought.

  • Album: Def Leppard
  • Artist: Def Leppard
  • Label: Mailboat Records
  • Songs: (1) Let’s Go (2) Dangerous (3) Man Enough (4) We Belong (5) Invincible (6) Sea Of Love (7) Energized (8) All Time High (9) Battle Of My Own (10) Broke 'n' Brokenhearted (11) Forever Young (12) Last Dance (13) Wings Of An Angel (14) Blind Faith

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