Leppard's latest pleases everyone

Monday, September 2, 2002

Def Leppard made its bones on screeching guitar licks, pounding bass and drums and angst-laden top-of-the-lungs vocals.

On "X," the British rockers' 10th release in a career that now stands at 25 years, there's probably too little of those ingredients to truly satisfy fans of their head-banging work of the late 1970s and early '80s.

But that isn't to say that "X" doesn't have its merits. Younger generations of fans probably will flock to this softer-edged, love song-dominated disc.

And that's exactly the band's point. The band has changed with the times, purposely, and shows pride in the fact that its music can be heard on classic- and modern-rock and pop stations.

"X" more likely will turn up on the latter, but there are some good tunes here, especially "Now," one of the harder-rocking songs, and "Long Way to Go," which is probably the softest cut of the 13 tracks.

As always, Joe Elliot's vocals are smooth and unassuming, Rick Allen's one-armed drum work is steady and Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell's guitar playing is crisp and efficient.