Album Reviews

Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos Review

Released by: Universal

Release Date: May 27th, 2022

Genre: Rock

Links: https://www.defleppard.com/

 

Line Up:

Joe Elliott

Vivian Campbell

Phil Collen

Rick Savage

Rick Allen

 

Tracklist:

1. Take What You Want
2. Kick
3. Fire It Up
4. This Guitar
5. SOS Emergency
6. Liquid Dust
7. U Rok Mi
8. Goodbye For Good This Time
9. All We Need
10. Open Your Eyes
11. Gimme A Kiss
12. Angels (Can’t Help You Now)
13. Lifeless
14. Unbreakable
15. From Here To Eternity

 

 

Is there a band with as long and rich a history, still releasing music that still manages to sell well, that can do world tours around the world in large venues and sell them out, that has such a divided fanbase? Since their debut On Through the Night, riding in on the rush of the NWOBHM movement, despite the band’s instance they’ve never been a Metal band, to 2015’s s/t release they’ve explored many styles throughout their storied career (and yes guys, even Metal in the early days.) The fanbase division usually falls around the first three only or Hysteria on up. Of course, some diehards love everything the band has done. I fall in the first three only, however, I loved Euphoria. I also have a love/hate relationship with Hysteria. I mostly dislike it, but there are some songs I love from the album, and at times when I’m feeling nostalgic, I can enjoy a spin of it (except “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Man I hate that song!) If I’m being honest, and I usually try to as it is the best policy, the last couple of Def Lep albums I’ve not listened to in their entirety as the tracks I did hear didn’t do it for me. X is the last one I listened to all the way through, and it was OK, but nothing spectacular. I was hesitant about checking out the latest one, early word on it was very mixed, but I was tasked with reviewing it, so here we are.

It’s entitled Diamond Star Halos. The first thing you might be asking does it suck? Surprisingly it does not. For starters, and this has been a good rule of thumb since Hysteria, pretend the first three albums never existed. OK, maybe Pyromania can stay as it is the bridge album between their raw heavier days to the polished pop-rock sound. Diamond Star Halos is the perfect album that sort of sums up their career since Hysteria. There is even a little hint of a High ‘N’ Dry/Pyromania in the first track “Take What You Want.” It’s very subtle and you almost must not be honed on it to catch it, but there is a subtle melody that hearkens back to those early days but is still ensconced in their poppy style. You can also hear them paying homage to their influences like The Sweet, T-Rex, and Mott the Hoople on tracks like “Kick” and “Gimme A Kiss.” There are also some moments where they hit the Adrenalize into the Slang period with tracks like “Open Your Eyes” and “U Rok Mi.” It wouldn’t be a Def Leppard album without a beautiful ballad that is perfectly represented by “Goodbye For Good This Time.” Two of my favorite tracks from the album (one a big shocker) is “This Guitar” featuring Alison Krauss duetting with Joe Elliot. Their voices match so well (and face it, she has a beautiful voice by herself anyway) and the guitar work shows a different side of Campbell and Collen. The second track is the album closer “From Here To Eternity” a very dark Beatle-esque track that is easily one of my favorite songs from the band ever. Love it!

If you’re still expecting Def Leppard to sound like On Through the Night or High ‘N’ Dry, just stop. It ain’t happening Sunshine. If you don’t like what they’re putting out, that’s fine. Frankly, I don’t like the bulk of it either. But Diamond Star Halos is a great album. Is it their best? From a certain vantage point…pretty fucking close. There are some great songs on here. There are some stunning performances. By far, this is the strongest and best the band has sounded on record since Euphoria. Even the moments I likened to Adrenalize and Slang (two albums I loathe) I enjoyed. Maybe I’m just in a good mood, but if you’ve got complaints about this album, perhaps you should spin it again without comparing it to their past. Just take it as it is. Otherwise, maybe it’s not the album’s fault as much as it is yours.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

 

TOUR DATES:

6/16    Atlanta, GA                              Truist Park

6/18    Miami Gardens, FL                   Hard Rock Stadium

6/19    Orlando, FL                              Camping World Stadium

6/22    Washington, D.C.                     Nationals Park

6/24    Flushing, NY                             Citi Field

6/25    Philadelphia, PA                       Citizens Bank Park

6/28    Charlotte, NC                           Bank of America Stadium

6/30    Nashville, TN                            Nissan Stadium

7/2      Jacksonville, FL                        TIAA Bank Field

7/5      St. Louis, MO                           Busch Stadium

7/8      Chicago, IL                               Wrigley Field

7/10    Detroit, MI                               Comerica Park

7/12    Hershey, PA                             Hersheypark Stadium

7/14    Cleveland, OH                          FirstEnergy Stadium

7/15    Cincinnati, OH                          Great American Ball Park

7/17    Milwaukee, WI                         American Family Field

7/19    Kansas City, MO                       Kauffman Stadium

7/21    Denver, CO                              Coors Field

8/5      Boston, MA                              Fenway Park

8/6      Boston, MA                              Fenway Park

8/8      Toronto, ON                            Roger’s Centre

8/10    Orchard Park, NY                     Highmark Stadium

8/12    Pittsburgh, PA                          PNC Park

8/14    Minneapolis, MN                     U.S. Bank Stadium

8/16    Indianapolis, IN                       Lucas Oil Stadium

8/19    Houston, TX                             Minute Maid Park

8/21    San Antonio, TX                      Alamodome

8/22    Arlington, TX                            Global Life Field

8/25    Glendale, AZ                            State Farm Stadium

8/27    Inglewood, CA                         SoFi Stadium

8/28    San Diego, CA                         Petco Park

8/31    Seattle, WA                             T-Mobile Park

9/2      Vancouver, BC                        BC Place

9/4      Edmonton, AB                          Commonwealth Stadium

9/7      San Francisco, CA                     Oracle Park

9/9      Las Vegas, NV                         Allegiant Stadium

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