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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge' (Ume)
Artist - Def Leppard

It's been an odd journey for Def Leppard over the last decade-plus. The band made the ominous and insolent Slang in 1996, and for my money it's one of those lost albums that verges on brilliance. After less than stellar sales, the band re-embraced the pop-rock formula that made them household names with the incandescent Euphoria, an inspired return to form, yet while the album did solid numbers it didn't receive the notice it deserved or warranted.

Now, we get to 2008's 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge.' While X was a modern rock CD with a pop edge, 'Sparkle Lounge' is a modern rock CD with a Hard Rock edge. When trying to find a comparison to this CD, I simply can't. It really is a Brand New kind of Def Leppard album. Sure there are moments that remind me of 'Hysteria,' 'Adrenalize,' 'Slang,' and 'X.' But overall, they are keeping it fresh and modern ... they are not stepping backwards at all.

This really is a Def Leppard CD that everyone has to have. If you liked 'Hysteria' because of the excellent production and amazing songs, you will love these songs. If you liked 'Slang' because it was experimental and new, you will love the freshness of these songs. If you liked 'X' because of the songwriting, you will love these songs. If you hated 'X' because it was too poppy, you have to hear these hard rock songs.

The main thing that sticks out on this CD is that every song is great! In terms of structure, melody, harmonies, guitar solos (absolute killer solos by Viv and Phil), varied styles, Def Leppard is as good as ever! Go out and buy this today, all ye lovers of solid rock music ... for you will not be disappointed in the Leppard this year!