Sound — 8
Def Leppard can be easily described as the epitome of 80s pop metal. The slick production, catchy melodies and upbeat vibe of this album all make for something that can be enjoyed by any fan of rock music. This album, released in 1987 and produced by Mutt Lange (famous for work with bands such as AC/DC and the cars) went on to become one of the highest selling releases in rock history, with latest estimates putting sales at nearly 20 million units. The making of the album took an amazing 3 years, and was constantly plagued by problems, such as drummer Rick Allen losing his left arm in a car crash. The album's sound is something of a combination of the pop metal kind of music that was emerging at the time with the band's classic heavy metal sound. The instruments all complement each other, and support the vocals very well. It has to be said that the guitar work is slightly generic, with few excursions outside the normal pentatonic(s) and major scales. As with many other 80s pop metal bands, without unique vocalists the instrumental work of bands could so very easily be mistaken for the work of other bands.
Lyrics — 7
Joe Elliott is a highly talented singer/songwriter, and his skills really come to the fore in this album. He has always maintained throughout Def Leppard's career that his lyrics are non-personal, and meant to be easily accessible and memorable to the listener. That idea is strongly highlighted on "Hysteria", with constant sing-alongs, and lyrics that etch themselves into your mind. One of the small downsides I've found is that sometimes the lyrics become slightly indistinguishable.
Overall Impression — 8
The standout songs of this album in my mind are "Animal", "Hysteria" and "Run Riot". Overall, it is a highly listenable work that can keep the listener entranced with it's memorability. As previously mentioned, the instrumental work can be slightly generic, though there's enough individuality to keep the album from becoming stale.