Def Leppard - Yeah!
Island Records
Hard Rock
Disc 1: 14 songs () Disc 2: 8 songs ()
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Ben

(Note: Disc two in this review is the bonus EP that is a Wal Mart exclusive in the US. I am including coverage of it with the regular edition of Yeah! because it contains some excellent material that I feel must be mentioned)

So Def Leppard’s recent album Yeah! is the first newly recorded music in four years and has no original material written by the band. What we have instead is a fifty minute covers album where the Lep’s pay homage to late seventies British pop icons. When I first heard the concept behind this album I was a little skeptical, I generally see cover albums as cop outs and Def Leppard isn’t known for having a high rate of musical output over the years. However, there is one thing that Yeah! has that Def Leppard haven’t managed to package in seven years since Euphoria and that is a rocking good time and a cd which is enormously fun to listen to. Most of the songs are straight forward covers that show the band having a blast in the studio and putting their trademark sound here and there. For example, David Essex’s Rock On has become this summer’s certified staple hit in my residence at least and is the perfect tune to crank in my stereo when my friends are over and we’re having a good time and a few brews. It’s sultry, sleek, and vivacious all at once and when the song kicks into gear it’s a prime moment to raise whatever beverage is in your hand and simply say, “Hell yea.” Hanging On The Telephone (popularized by Blondie) is a template for poppy punk rock and in spite of its simplicity still has room for some great guitar licks and solos. There are still the staple Def Leppard sounds with huge harmonized choruses and they take the huge hooks of bands like The Sweet and The Kinks and make them larger than life. Hell, the band even manages to reel in Justin Hawkins from The Darkness for their cover of Hell Raiser, and believe me the role they provided for him fits his voice perfectly.

The bonus disc that’s mentioned in the opening statement has a brilliant version of Tom Petty’s American Girl that I consider one of the best tracks recorded during the Yeah! sessions. Joe Elliot even manages to sound remarkable like Mr. Petty and the female backing vocals add just enough extra texture to enhance the original working class spirit of this song. While Hanging On The Telephone veers towards the poppy side of the punk spectrum, Phil Collen’s take on Iggy and The Stooges’ Search and Destroy is one hundred percent abrasive, straight forward, sleazy punk rock. The three interview segments are a bit sub par, it’s hard to pay attention when you hear a techie sound checking away in the background… “check one two…check one two… CHECK CHECK” while the band is speaking to the interviewer. Pick up this cheap five dollar EP if you have a chance because American Girl, Space Oddity, and Search and Destroy are worth it themselves.

I am eagerly waiting for new material from these Brit rock legends that can match the quality of albums like Pyromania, Adrenalize, and Euphoria but for now I’ll take Yeah! even with it’s ridiculous title, and enjoy it to the fullest. I would rather have an honest, fun record then a labored effort where the end result is tired and contrived from trying too hard to make what isn’t there a reality.

Killing Songs :
Rock On, Hanging On The Telephone, Street Life, American Girl
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Def Leppard that we have reviewed:
Def Leppard - Songs From The Sparkle Lounge reviewed by Storm and quoted 81 / 100
Def Leppard - Hysteria reviewed by Storm and quoted CLASSIC
Def Leppard - Adrenalize reviewed by Shane and quoted 84 / 100
Def Leppard - X reviewed by Mike and quoted 56 / 100
Def Leppard - High 'n Dry reviewed by Jeff and quoted CLASSIC
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