Def Leppard
X


3.5
great

Review

by TheDavey USER (3 Reviews)
January 11th, 2008 | 7 replies | 7,235 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A more positive spin on a polarizing record.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

X is one of the most polarizing entries in Def Leppard's Catalogue. It seems that fans either love this record or hate this record, and I believe that both sides have valid points. However, I am part of the admittedly small group of people who see this record in a positive way, and here's why; It contains some great songs, and some even better performances.

That isn't to say that this whole record is "cream of the crop". There are some straight pop tracks here that feel insincere, and kind of creepy coming not only from grown men, but from grown men who are looking at the far side of their 40's. The worst of these is the track "Gravity". The heavily programmed rhythm tracks give the verses a slightly dancey feel, and the lyrics could have been written by any boy-bander. As a matter of fact, it would have gone over much better if NSync or the Backstreet Boys had recorded it. "Unbelieveable" is another of these tracks, although it is much less offensive than "Gravity". The problem with "Unbelieveable" is that its a sign of Leppard chasing an audience, rather than making the music it wants to make. This is what enfuriates many of the fans about this record.

Lucky for us, however, there are quite a few great rock songs on the album, and quite a few sonic experiments that actually work. The acoustic guitar, gurgling synths, and modern rock-minor key trappings of "Now" help to slightly update Leppard without making them sound out of place on their own record. "You're So Beautiful" is a great pop-rocker that shows off the vocal power of the band, as well as their writing and playing abilities (which I believe are quite under-rated). In the middle of the record comes what I believe to be the Crown Jewel. After the stately, adult-contemporary leanings of "Long Long Way to Go", is a fast, fun ball-buster called "Four Letter Word". The main riff is bluesy and instantly memorable. The lead vocal is loose and cock-sure, which is always where Joe Elliot does his best work. If the world was perfect, this would have been Leppard's career re-energizing hit. Out of all the tracks on the album, "Four Letter Word" is the definite winner.

There are quite a few other songs that make this album and enjoyable listen. It is not one of Leppard's classics, but I also don't think it deserves as much of a bad rap as it has. I encourage fans of Leppard, and fans of pop-rock to give it a try.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 12th 2008



15960 Comments


Good review... I haven't like anything from these guys since Adrenalize.

as well as their writing and playing abilities (which I believe are quite under-rated).
There's no doubt that the one-armed drummer has some playing ability, and Steve Allen really did too... but have you ever seen the bass player play these songs live? He might as well have just one string on that bass.

Digging: Necropoli - I

ninjuice
January 12th 2008



6760 Comments


short but descriptive. Good job.

TheDavey
January 12th 2008



9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have seen the band live a few times...you're right about how the bass player looks. I think it's because he picks as opposed to fingering it.

DhA
June 23rd 2009



421 Comments


I remember this album being pretty boring - but I still love the song "Now", it was one of those songs that "got me into music" so to speak and is actually pretty good...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2011



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

By far Def Leppard's poppiest release, it pays to think of 'X' as being performed by another band. At times, the harmonized backing vocals work, such as on opener 'Now' & closer 'Scar'. However, the over-riding problem is that 'X' contains too many similarly paced & unmemorable songs. Any time they try to add some edge, it comes off as a miscued hotch-potch ('Gravity') or terribly recycled ('Four Letter Word', which unashamedly copies 'Armageddon It'). It is probably on par with their previous 2 LPs though since it doesn't quite plummet to their depths. Unfortunately, it doesn't climb to any great heights either. Recommended Tracks: Now, Long Long Way To Go & Scar.

Antonius
October 9th 2013



228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Very nice review. Pos'd. I totally agree with what you've said. X was much more interesting and enjoyable than Slang (for example) at least for me

Digging: Purson - The Circle and the Blue Door

LittleStranger
October 21st 2013



481 Comments


this record makes me sick



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