Not gonna lie, I slept on Def Leppard’s self-titled Q4 2015 release. I dedicated a lot of energy last year to waxing rhapsodic about Iron Maiden and Max Martin, but I totally forgot about the single band at the exact midpoint between those two artists. You can’t blame me! Most of the Lep’s catalog is absent from Spotify, and the album that preceded their new one came out eight years ago and it was the worst thing they’d ever released. Anyway, yesterday, out of the clear blue sky, my Black Market co-worker Ian Chainey shares this brand-new video on our Slack channel, just to make fun of the CGI. Then, five seconds later, he follows that with:
This song is actually really good. :-(
WHY THE FROWNY FACE? Have we all grown so cynical that an “actually really good” Def Leppard song brings us sadness? I dunno, man. But on the other hand, I kinda get it, too. Like, this song is actually really good, and nobody is paying attention, because nobody cares about Def Leppard anymore, including me.
But I do care about really good songs, and Def Leppard’s best songs are better than just about anybody else’s. And Def Leppard’s very best song, of course, is “Photograph,” from 1983’s Pyromania. Anyway, “Dangerous” sounds a whole lot like “Photograph,” which means it’s not actually really good — it’s actually fucking awesome.
It’s rare we get a chance to go back to an album we missed and exhort others to listen, but this awful video — which just premiered in the video game Guitar Hero :-( — has offered me an opportunity to right this one particular oversight and injustice, in my own small way. I suggest you ignore the visuals, because they are distracting and weird; they look like the sort of CGI that you’ll sometimes see in regional-cable commercials for online colleges that offer a major in “computer graphics.” The song, on the other hand, sounds like the sort of miraculously catchy and perfectly crafted pop you won’t hear from any other band in the whole world.
Def Leppard is out now, and you can cop it here or listen on Spotify (it’s one of the few Def Leppard albums available on the service), and you should because it’s great.