Closing in on 30 years as arena rock staples, give Def Leppard credit for keeping it fresh and somewhat surprising on their first studio album in six years.
There’s quite a range here, from the nu-metal feel of the opening track “Go” (think Def Leppard-meets-Tool) to the duet with country superstar Tim McGraw on “Nine Lives.” (Thanks again, Bon Jovi, for making ALL the rock bands skew country.) “C’mon C’mon” has a much more ’70s feel, sounding like Cheap Trick playing Gary Glitter’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Part II.”
But the best moment here comes on the ballad “Love,” in which the band channels their inner Queen. From the opening acoustic riff that’s very reminiscent of “Love Of My Life” to the melody that’s more than a little similar to “Jealousy,” the four-part wall-of-harmony that adorned so many Queen classics, and multi-layered electric guitar that could have been played by Brian May himself, this track is sheer audio joy.