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Def Leppard

Slang

Format: CD   Release Date: 08/27/2013
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After the lackluster performance of Adrenalize, Def Leppard realized it was time to abandon their trademark wall-of-guitars sound. Jettisoning producer Mutt Lange -- who, admittedly, was busy producing his wife, country singer Shania Twain -- the group stripped its sound to the basics for Slang. There are very few layers-of-guitar effects on the album, just straight, crunching chords. Most notably, Rick Allen has returned to playing acoustic drums after playing an electronic kit for nearly a decade. The change in approach is apparent and welcome -- Def Leppard hasn't sounded so immediate since Pyromania. Furthermore, they decided to expand their musical vocabulary slightly, working elements of RB and funk into the rhythms. Not all of the experiments work, but Def Leppard sound revitalized, particularly when they attack a straightforward rocker. Slang would have been even better if they had come up with a set of hooks that sounded as alive as their performance, but the album is a much-needed return to form for the group. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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