X marks the band’s tenth album and a welcome return of the prime of the Def Leppard. Critics, including this one, are calling it the natural successor to Hysteria. It is, by far, the best thing they have released in a very long time. Imagine a slightly updated sounding Hysteria and you have X. It is, quite frankly, a stunning album that is DL all over, with rockers, ballads, and power ballads. The entire band, the longest serving line-up, it must be noted, is on top form, and Elliot has never sounded better. With the help of ex-Toto Fergie Frederickson and a couple of guys who have helped Ms Spears and N’Snyc get the best out of their limited ability, the band has returned to their Mutt Lange era quality. From the first single ‘Now’ through the heavy On Through the Night-esque ‘Scar’, this CD rocks. The UK, for having to wait a week more for the release, get two bonus tracks: ‘Kiss the Day’ and the acoustic ‘Long Long Way to Go’, either of which would be a good single. ‘Let me be the One’, a guaranteed (and no doubt next) single is a ballad that will have the ladies swooning in the aisles (ala Hysteria’s ‘Have you ever Needed…’) It is great to see the band back to what they do best, well-crafted arena rock, instead of trying to be trendy. This marks a welcome return of the Def Leppard we grew up with back in the day. You better get your gig tickets now, because I predict worldwide sellouts. This is clearly a candidate for hard rock album of the year, absolutely stunningly good!
Marty Dodge 9.5