Def Leppard



by TheDavey USER (3 Reviews)
January 11th, 2008 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

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

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.

user ratings (140)
other reviews of this album
deflepp0925 (1.5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 12th 2008


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: Hypno5e - Alba - Les Hombres Errantes

January 12th 2008


short but descriptive. Good job.

January 12th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

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

June 23rd 2009


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...

Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2011


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.

October 9th 2013


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

October 21st 2013


this record makes me sick

June 6th 2016


Album Rating: 2.0

NME gave this a 10/10 back in 2002. Wow. Just wow.

Contributing Reviewer
June 6th 2016


Album Rating: 2.0

Lol yeah this is pretty terrible, a couple of decent tunes probably but that's it.

April 1st 2017


Album Rating: 1.0

*Album Rating: 5.0

X marks the spot as they say 😉

Digging: The Fall - Fiery Jack

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