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DEF LEPPARD / EUPHORIA
LABEL: BLUGEON RIFFOLA / MERCURY JAPAN PHCW-1030
OVERALL: 93%
Produced by: Pete Woodruff & Def Leppard
  1. Demolition Man
  2. Promises
  3. Back In Your Face
  4. Goodbye
  5. All Night
  6. Paper Sun
  7. It's Only Love
  8. 21st Century Sha La La Girl
  9. To Be Alive
  10. Disintergrate
  11. Guilty
  12. Day After Day
  13. Kings Of Oblivion
  14. I Am Your Child
Well here it is!
There isn't much point writing a big intro into this review. We all know where that band have been, what they have done and whether we like what we have heard over the past few years. What we are all interested in and what you are about to read - is that was this latest seeming endless wait for a new Def Leppard album really worth it?
Have they returned to their overly produced bombastic multi layered ways?
Have they actually let the great Vivian Campbell write more than one tune this time? Well, here folks, are all the answers....
Euphoria is indeed a glorious return to the band's harmony filled glory days.
I won't say it's a return to form, as they never really lost it as I really liked Slang. It was different, but very good. Sure as hell better than the sub par Adrenalize.
Regardless, Euphoria is still better than both. It's nearest rival is Hysteria itself, which is still streaks ahead, but this is damn good.
Euphoria uses the best of everything that made Def Leppard the multi platinum act they are. The harmonies and big choruses are all back in their over blown form that made
Hysteria great and the guitars and back to their melodic multi layered best, with chops and rhythms going everywhere. So much so it will be several weeks before anyone will know the record off by heart. The album takes the 90's feel of Slang, complete with samples, some synthesizers, drum rhythms, but with less of the distorted guitar sounds and mixes it with the uptempo more commercially friendly Adrenalize record.
There are also parts of Hysteria at play. A much stronger production than Adrenalize and tighter songs than that album.
Tracks like Demolition Man and Promises could have easily come from Hysteria.
In simple terms Euphoria takes the modern 90's sound of Slang and adds the typical Leppard feel of Adrenalize and Hysteria. But it would have been even better if they stuck totally to the Hysteria feel, as they did with these opening two traacks.
Demolition Man is the most frenzied intro to a Leppard album to date! A big fast paced hard rocker with plenty of vocals, guitars, harmonies and a real feel good way about it. The Leps are back!
And how about Promises! Damn how good is this? Easily good enough to be a part of Hysteria, this Mutt Lange co-written track has everything. A moody multi-layered verse and a killer anthem chorus not heard since Armageddon It and Animal.
Back In Your Face is another top notch hard rocker. A little more into the Adrenalize feel, something like Personal Property, but another big killer chorus with hooks everywhere.
Goodbye is the first of a few big schmultzy ballads. What can I say? Great big ballad, but it's always going to be pretty hard for the guys to record another original ballad like Hysteria, Love Bites, When Love And Hate Collide.
This time the guys have gone the Bryan Adams/Mutt Lange path of big ballads like Died And Gone To Heaven and Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.
No complaints though, this is still a great tune. Do I need to add anything about the harmonies and huge backing vocals? None bigger.
The only song I have a real problem with is All Night. I might have guessed that Mutt Lange co-wrote this. This is the type of disposable 'I want to bonk you' song that Mutt and his Mrs. have been churning out for the past 18 months.
C'mon guys, you are better than this! Still we have to pass through it to get to the awesome next track, so hang in for the chorus. That's pretty big!
Paper Sun is that awesome next track. A much darker feel than the rest of the album and several layers deep in heavy guitars. It reminds me a little of what Motley Crue were trying to achieve in some places on Generation Swine. The Leps do it better.
It's Only Love is the second big schmultzy ballad. Another great radio friendly harmony filled track, but a more uptempo number.
21st Century Sha La La Girl is a good fun hard rocker in the vein of Let's Get Rocked or I Want To Touch U off Adrenalize. Commercially friendly for FM rock stations. To Be Alive is ballad number 3. Much of the same. Love these Leppard ballads, but a rocker or moodier track might have been a better idea.
Disintergrate is an instrumental, which I don't think they guys have done on an album since God knows when (ever?). Cool and pretty flat chat.
Guilty is the last of the big ballads, but is one of the best on the album. Hit hit hit!
Day After Day is almost exactly what I called for a track or two back. Big, heavy and moody, but not quite as memorable as some of the bigger hook numbers.
Kings Of Oblivion is a good was to end the album. Great uptempo rocker. A little back to the Pyromania days here, but with a 90's feel. This one will appeal to the older fans I think.
I Am Your Child is the Japanese only bonus track, but it's likely to turn up on a single sooner or later. It's kinda uptempo and moody and has a cool guitar sound and a big hook in the chorus. Another track that brings a little Pyromania into the mix.
Much has been made of Mutt Lange's involvement in this album. Apart from writing maybe the best track of the album, his contribution I think is negligible. The other tracks include an OK big ballad and a forgettable crotch rocker.
Instead all the credit must go to the band for wanting to do this and to Pete Woodruff for getting such a great performance from the guys. And for getting the complexity of the layers into something resembling a Mutt Lange production.
Best album since Hysteria and proves the guys still have it. Rock on...
PRODUCTION: 93%SONGS: 89%VIBE: 92%ATTITUDE: 95%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Def Leppard fans and all melodic AOR, Hard Rock fans.
DISCOGRAPHY: On Through The Night . High And Dry . Pyromania . Hysteria . Adrenalize . RetroActive . Vault . Slang . Euphoria



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