28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2002
Man, X is just not getting the respect it deserves. You would think from some of the reviews on this site that this album is nothing short of terrible and that it deviates so fundamentally from Lep's style that it is not even them. While I do agree that X has a lighter sound than their other blockbusters (Pyro, Hysteria, and absolutely Euphoria), to call this album terrible or even average is a joke and an injustice to Lep.
First of all, I have no idea why so many reviews of X refer to this album as a comeback album (and therefore a disappointment somehow). Where have ya'll been? Euphoria was their comeback album, not X. Euphoria, which was another Mutt Lange collaboration, returned to the sound of Pyromania and Hysteria and is easily their best album since Hysteria. So, stop calling X a comeback album, because it aint.
Next, why do so many people feel the need to corner bands into a particular sound and style? Last I checked, musicians were free people who can experiment with their craft anyway they like. For people to expect Lep to just continue producing the same ole sound album after album is ridiculous. True fans of any band will always be open-minded and try to appreciate why the band is creating the sound they are creating. Seems there are more wanna-be Lep fans out there than real ones.
The new style is precisely why X is such a great album in its own right. It demonstrates that the boys can still create great music without Lange's involvement and it also demonstrates that they can expand their style without compromising their globally unique sound (any one of these tunes, even void of Elliot's voice, is identifiable as Lep almost instantly). Those people who state that this CD is mush and has no intensity to it (or that it does not ROCK) are either crazy or on something. Even the ballads have rich, intricate rock guitar work going on and there are at least a handful of songs on the CD that are as rockin' as anything they've turned out since Pyromania. One must only open their ears and mind to the difference in style and the quality of the songs begin to take hold quickly.
All of the songs on the album are good -- there is not one of them that I don't like. Standouts are Unbelievable, So Beautiful (awesome), Four Letter Word (sounds like a mix of Armaggedon It and Photograph), Love Don't Lie, Gravity, Cry, Girl Like You, and Scar.
In conclusion, if you are a REAL Def Leppard fan (and not some fair-weather fan who corners them into a certain sound and blasts them if they don't produce what you want), you MUST get this CD and give it a fair number of listens (10 or so) before you walk away in errant disgust as so many here have apparently done. This is definitely a cornerstone to your DL collection and I personally can't wait to see what they produce in the future. The boys are BACK IN YOUR FACE.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2002
I only found 2 weak tracks that separated themselves from the quality of the rest of the album, which means that this for me is their best album since Hysteria. The easiest way to describe the album is as a blend of their previous 4 albums (not including Vault or Retroactive).
The first half of the album is the more laid back and best half, while the second half picks up the tempo with some more traditional Leppard rock n roll moments, but maybe isn't quite as strong.
The songs on X grow on you and bring you back for more. This is a far more matured Def Leppard. It's a mainly uptempo and free flowing album, but it's not an album driven by hard edged guitar.
The largely pop/melodic rock approach of the album and high quality of several commercial tracks suggests that X could see the Leps back in favor with radio programmers worldwide. There is at least 5 or 6 tracks that could comfortably fit on any radio format playlist.
Track by Track:
Now - A very moody track that runs from an acoustic/high-tech/modern pop intro to a heavier modern rock chorus and then progressively heavier verses. The first single off the album.
Unbelievable - Similar to "It's Only Love" from Euphoria.
You're So Beautiful - The first sign of a "Def Leppard 2002" sound. The first "sing-along" song of the album, with a killer hook.
Everyday - A consistently mid-tempo and evenly balanced song. The song builds towards the chorus but doesn't go over the top.
Long, Long Way To Go - I'll be surprised if this song doesn't do for Def Leppard what "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" did for Aerosmith. This is a killer song...breathtaking. One of the band's best ever ballads that demands repeated listens. A monster if radio gets hold of it.
Four Letter Word - Sounds like it could have been written during the Adrenalize sessions (Heaven Is, Make Love Like a Man). A party-rocker that gets better with repeated listens.
Torn To Shreds - Easily one of my favorites on this album. Has a bit of a Hysteria/Slang feel to it. Catchy as hell and one of the more musically interesting tracks from the album. Could be a hit single for rock radio.
Love Don't Lie - Not bad, but following the last track a little flat. Probably the weakest track of the album.
Gravity - Similar to the title track from Slang and "All Night" from Euphoria. The song is the most high-tech pop of the whole album.
Cry - is the most openly alternative rocker of the album. The chorus is different to say the least. Very in your face and aggressive. Sounds very close to a number of the heavier tracks from the last Aerosmith album Just Push Play.
Girl Like You - I agree with the review that relates this song to "21st Century Sha La La Girl" from Euphria. Lots of layers.
Let Me Be The One - A weaker ballad not as radio friendly as Long Long Way to Go.
Scar - This is a very cool track. Probably the stand-out track for classic Leppard fans. Very similar to the bonus track "I Am Your Child" from Euphoria. Gets better every listen and could easily be a rock radio single.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2002
Def Leppard may be back, but for many of us, they never went away. Hysteria really turned me on to the band, and I can still remember the anticipation I felt before the release of Adrenalize, nearly 5 years later. I had that feeling again in the weeks leading up to the release of X, and I'm not disappointed.
Those who prefer the early days of Def Leppard (On Through The Night, High 'N Dry) may not be too impressed with the band in 2002. However, for any fan who loves Def Leppard for the quality of the music and the strength of their melodies, this album will give you the shivers.
1) Now - kind of an odd choice for first single, this one takes some time to grow on you. Melodically, it's not their strongest work, but it combines some interesting sounds and a big chorus to strong effect.
2) Unbelievable - excellent ballad, will make you "feel so damn good". Strong, soaring chorus with great vocal harmonies.
3) You're So Beautiful - another winner, but very poppy. Catchy chorus with unmistakable Leppard background vocals.
4) Everyday - sounds a lot like mid-90s Bryan Adams. This is not a bad thing. Lacks a huge hook, but very easy on the ears.
5) Long Long Way To Go - simply their best ballad ever! Joe's singing has never sounded so emotional. I still get chills every time I hear this song (after a few dozen plays). This will be the second single off the album, and should be a huge hit. You know that if one of today's boy bands did this song, it would get massive airplay, but wouldn't be nearly as good as this version.
6) Four Letter Word - sounds like something AC/DC would do. Classic rockin' tune, but not my favourite on the CD.
7) Torn To Shreds - my favourite song on X. Starts off quiet, but don't turn the volume up too high, or the next part will blow your speakers! The first verse slows it down a bit, but then comes the chorus. Pure ecstasy! Beautiful melody, and background harmonies the way only Def Leppard can do them. Simply amazing (but too short, less than 3 minutes).
8) Love Don't Lie - another strong mid-tempo ballad. Huge catchy chorus, pleasant acoustic background on verses.
9) Gravity - would have fit better on Euphoria. Odd-sounding percussion on this one. Not a fave.
10) Cry - the most non-traditional track on the CD, "Cry" takes a few listens to get used to. Lacks a big hook, but has some great guitar work.
11) Girl Like You - very poppy, upbeat, with another great Def Leppard chorus. The vocals occasionally sound a little strained and too high-pitched, but still a very good track.
12) Let Me Be The One - another beautiful ballad, but doesn't bring anything new to the table. The CD probably could have used another hard rocker before this track.
13) Scar - classic Def Leppard! Reminiscent of "Paper Sun" and "Day After Day" from Euphoria. Haunting guitar sounds building to the massive chorus where Joe finally gets to let loose with his trademark howling vocals. A fantastic way to end the album.
X keeps Def Leppard up with the times while still retaining their classic sound. This is not a metal band, and frankly, I don't think they were ever a metal band. They are a group of guys in their early 40s committed to recording strong, memorable music, and they have accomplished this goal admirably with X. If you are a fan of beautifully executed melodic rock, you won't regret picking up X.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Def Leppard have always had a knack for keeping their sound fresh -- usually no two albums have the same production style, save for the band's two weakest efforts, Adrenalize in 1992 and Euphoria in 1999, each of which tried to capitalize on the popular style of the monumental and brilliant Hysteria from 1987. "X" is a re-energized, creative, poppish-sounding Leppard. The leadoff single, "Now," probably the dullest tune on the entire record, still manages to capture the essence of Leppard's engergetic vibe with a huge chorus and Indian style guitar solo, not unlike the sound on "Turn to Dust" from the underrated Slang album. Joe Elliott claimed "Now" was not the most obvious choice for the first single, and he was correct.
Beyond "Now," however, things on the CD get interesting, starting with the drastically pop sound of the boy band-like "Unbelievable," which will grow on you if you enjoy this band. "You're So Beautiful," "Torn to Shreds," "Girl Like You," "Gravity" and "Scar" have booming, often complex choruses, where the mix of voices almost sound like an instrument unto themselves. Though far from a hard-rock record, "X" does have songs that will stick in your head all day long, due to their catchiness. The usual Leppardized studio effects are present -- layered background vocals and huge guitars -- but the album, despite its radio-ready songs, doesn't quite contain the over-processed sound of "Adrenalize" and "Euphoria," and manages to have an updated feel.
For the harder rock fans, "X" still manages a few gems that won't disappoint. The tough riff from "Four Letter Word" has elements of classic AC/DC (see Back in Black), and Elliott's voice even sounds vaguely like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith (see Toys in the Attic). With its classic-rock sound and melodic chorus, "Four Letter Word" is vintage Leppard. Another great rocker, and probably the most '80s-sounding of all "X's" songs is the awesome "Cry," a much-needed, raunchy guitar tune that sounds as if it were left off "Hysteria" back in the late '80s. Great riff, great bleeding chorus, hopefully a future concert staple.
"X" ends with one of Leppard's finest songs ever written, in a catalog of many classics. In the darker-themed tradition of "Billy's Got a Gun," "White Lightning," "Pearls of Euphoria," "Day After Day" and "Kings of Oblivion," "Scar" will leave fans with the hope that these guys might one day return to what I believe was a profound flair for creating gloomy-sounding yet melodic material, songs that really strike a nerve. Increasingly, despite Def Leppard's talent to write great pop songs, the band's best songwriting capabilities come through in edgier, darker material, stuff that doesn't just mope or rejoice about puppy-dog love for men over 40. "Scar" will appeal to longtime fans who have stuck by the band for many years. Here's hoping that more "scars" in the bands' portfolio continue to find their way in the studio.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2002
It's easy to say that this is their best album since hysteria. X is defninitely better than their 1999 release, Euphoria, and most old-school fans will be happy to know this isn't a repeat of Slang. (However, I have appreciated everything they put out since pyromania, and my comments will probably reflect that)
A breakdown of the album is as follows:
R: 1-10 (Heaviness rating)
P: 1-10 (Personal song rating)
1. Now - Their first single from the album. Reminiscient of their album pyromania, except modernized. R:8 P:8
2. Unbelievable - An emotional rock ballad with lots of melody. R:5 P:8
2. You're So Beautiful - Much like the material on Hysteria. R:6 P:9
3. Everyday - More 80's-Like Pop Rock. Very catchy. R:6 P:10
4. Long Long Way to Go - The album's softest ballad. Excellent Leppard Melody. R:3 P:10
5. Four Letter Word - Very much like their earlier stuff (eg. Rock of Ages). The verses sound a bit like AC/DC's Back in Black. R:8 P:5
6. Torn To Shreds - Another emotional rock ballad. Very nice. A lot like the song Hysteria. R:6 P:9
6. Love Don't Lie - Quite popish. Sounds a bit like Euphoria. R:6 P:8
7. Gravity - Leppard Rock mixed with a little more pop and industrial. A bit like the song Slang. R:5 P:8
8. Cry - Pure rock, retrospect of their pre-Hysteria stuff. R:8 P:5
9. Girl Like You - A pop rock story. A little like their Euphoria song 21st Century Sha la la Girl. R:7 P:6
10. Let Me Be The One - Another softer ballad with more leppard harmony. R:4 P:7
11. Scar - Another song that sounds like their older stuff, and also a lot like Euphoria's Day after Day. R:7 P:6
12. Kiss The Day - A great way to close the album. Very classic-leppard. R:7 R:5
Def Leppard did an excellent job on this album. X encompasses the sounds from most of their previous albums and serves as a good representation of how def leppard has changed through the years, and still emerge as one of the worlds best rock bands.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2002
I can hardly contain my anger with some of the negative reviews of this album. To all you negative reviewers, let's get something straight: Def Leppard is NOT a HEAVY METAL BAND. Never have been, never will be. Def Leppard is simply a rock band that appeals to the mainstream. Understand this when you listen to their music, especially the new album, "X". What I really don't get is how a number of people complain it doesn't sound like Pyromaina or Hysteria. Well, what do you expect them to sound like in the year 2002? Pyromania or Hysteria?? Do you really expect them to come out with the same ol' stuff? If they did, you'd be complaining "same ol', same ol'". Ever heard of a thing called CREATIVITY? PROGRESSION? GROWTH? MATURITY? ARTISTRY?. The fact that they have modernized their style a bit, doesn't make them "sellouts". The band believes in the music they are making, and as long as you believe in it yourself you are never a sellout. They don't live in a vaccum, they live in the same ever changing world as all of us. I have every Leppard album and "X" is trully a standout! I will always love their older style, AND I love their new direction too. IT'S ALL GOOD. All the songs on "X" are amazing. Songs like "Unbelievable", "You're so beautiful", and "Long long way to go" demand heavy rotation on the air waves. In a fair world, there would be at least 7 hit singles off this record. Unfortunately this probably won't happen because of all the narrow minded, short sighted people who won't give this album a chance. If you are a true fan, you will be hooked on this album for months. If you don't LOVE it, you are not a fan and you should not be submitting a review.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2002
Though I had some misgivings that the band for the first time recorded a couple of songs they did not have a hand in writing, I find this album to be a lot of fun and it sounds current, rather than microwaved 80's self-imitation that plagued Euphoria and Adrenalize. This album is full of catchy songs and may be a little poppy for many longtime fans but the grooves are infectious and you can feel they had fun with this record. Standouts are Now, Unbelievable, Long Long Way to Go (this ballad could be a breakout hit like Aerosmith's Don't Wanna Miss a Thing), Torn to Shreds and Love Don't Lie. With the promotion they are doing and with the quality of this album, this may finally be their comeback. Lep rules. Always have, always will.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2002
This album is a polished and thoroughly enjoyable outing from the best thing (Liz Hurley and Catherine Zeta-Jones aside) to ever come from Britain's entertainment scene. The album *won't* rock your socks off - this is basically a relaxing and smooth release that helps you to mellow out, rather than rock out. Hey - Def Leppard's done plenty of rocking. This album doubles their number of great ballads, while adding a slick twist with relaxing, yet upbeat, pop/rock tunes.
If you're looking to headbang, sorry - you won't find the next 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' here. If you want some Def Leppard just having fun, with catchy melodies (that's melodies, not rockers per se) and a great sound, this is a solid listen. Better than Euphoria, in my opinion - sounds more polished and not quite as broad in musical styles. They have a definite over-arcing melodic, softer side on this disc - and I love it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2004
Joe and the guys have created another awesome set of tunes with "X". Following Slang, the guys took a turn back toward their roots with Euphoria. Similarly, "X" keeps to the classic Def Leppard sound. This album is very much reminiscent of "Hysteria".
One notable difference in this album is the lack of what I like to call "Def Epic" tunes. This refers to songs like "Gods of War", "Die Hard The Hunter", "White Lightning", "Pearl of Euphoria", etc. But the most noteable thing about "X" is that it is a "softer" (for lack of a better word) album. The album is not all love songs, but it does seem to have a softer feel than previous albums. As for the lyrics, while they add to that feel, it doesn't make them bad. Def Leppard isn't Iron Maiden, or any other band, and never wanted to be. I believe it is their intention to keep the songs and lyrics dynamic and changing. By that I mean that while some songs have specific messages and/or meaning (Gods of War, White Lightning, etc.), others are just "fun", and have no ulterior meaning or motive. That same dynamic mix is here, but the differences are far more suttle. The lyrics found here are primarily about human emotion, but you will find the range of emotions to be quite wide.
In the end, I rate this as one of the band's best. I would rate it the absolute best if there had been even one good Def Epic tune. Based on potential radio air time and chart topping potential, it is without a doubt their #1 album. I honestly don't understand why I'm not hearing these songs all over the radio.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I recently re-discovered my love for Def Leppard after having them fall off my radar for a few years after Adrenalize. I'm so glad I've found them again, because they're better than ever. People still screaming for the 80's style rock that DL were the masters of really need to understand that music is constantly changing, and the ability of a band to stay fresh through the decades is the sign of a solid, truly talented group - and that's what DL is. Why this album has received so much flak is beyond me, because I think it's awesome. Songs like 'You're So Beautiful' and 'Long Long Way to Go' are just incredible. I could listen to this album over and over again, all day long (and often do). Their music is as melodic as ever and Joe E's vocals have only improved with time. One of my favorite CD's ever.