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Aaaaaaand it's that Def Leppard again, going on and on through the 90's even though "hair metal" is pretty much dead at this point. Have they got some awesome tricks up their sleeve in order to gain popularity of rock fans in the midst of R.E.M.'s salad days? Actually, NO, they don't. Instead, they try to imitate the pop stars that were in their prime in the 90's in an attempt to chart once again. In my personal opinion, Def Leppard should've ended their career after "Pyromania". But they didn't, and the result is the musical slippery slope the went down to the lowest common denominator. That point is "Slang", an abysmal flop of N'Sync-ian proportions.
With "Slang", Def Leppard has gone out of its way to destroy itself, from eschewing its NWOBHM heritage in the mid-80's to this. They've even ditched their famous logo on the album's cover! You can't really expect anything good to come out of an album with a cover that doesn't feature the classic logo, but if you were dumb enough to purchase it (as I was), you'd be appalled. As with much of Def Leppard's releases in the 90's onward, there is virtually no song on here that is pleasing to those expecting metal. Cos the band tried to cash in on any musical act popular at the time by mimicking their sounds. They try to imitate everything from boyband pop, (one example being the title track) and alternative rock ("Deliver Me"). There's just one problem though; Def Leppard wasn't a boyband nor an alternative rock band, and as a result, the public was not fooled.
Def Leppard must have been very desperate to get more money, cos their cheap imitations of generic 90's music really don't hold up. You don't really hear a real drum set in the title track, it just sounds like the band just used a drum machine, like many boybands did. To make matters worse, here's some of the lyrics; "I'll rap'n ruch and jam it up". Jam it up? Really? Well, the song is entitled "Slang", so I guess that makes sense....not! Def Leppard has stooped that low in order to get another massive paycheck, everybody. Another dumb song is "Turn to Dust", which I feel could've been a more interesting track. It starts off as kind of an Indian vibe to it, complete with a sitar. After a minute, however, it gets into pop mode, completely disregarding that sitar and destroying the hope of a song that would sound less like something that would appear on the soundtrack to "Digimon: The Movie".
"Gift of Flesh"; that totally sounds metal, doesn't it? Well, too bad, cos it sounds nothing like it. In fact, it's another song on here Def Leppard tried to make sound trendy by making it emulate alternative rock, which was huge in the 90's. I mean come on, how are they not trying to be another Weezer?! The song's got incredibly shallow guitars that play grungy power chords and a snare drum that sounds like hitting a piece of cardboard real hard when hit! Wanna hear an even worse song? How 'bout "Pearl of Euphoria"? It's more than six minutes long, and, like "Rocket", it fails to live up to its length. It's got quite a slow tempo, suggesting a ballad, but it has the chord patterns of a standard hard rock song. These are combinations that don't mix well, not with Def Leppard. This really doesn't sound like them at all, even when they released "Adrenalize"! They should have sped up the tempo if they were going to make the song at least a bit likeable!
Def Leppard went to great lengths to sell records, and it's at this stage of their career where they've reached the point way beyond the point of no return. "Slang" is a dated piece of the 90's just as "Hysteria" is a dated piece of the 80's. The band tried to win the hearts of teenage girls in the 90's with the album, and they have failed miserably. They ended up sounding like the fads that would eventually die out when the new millennium rolled around. There is virtually nothing good to be said about this album. It's just another sign of the times created by a band that either should have split up after the grunge revolution, cos there's no way a "hair band" like Def Leppard could make its mark in a different time.
Def Leppard has done good hard rock in the 80’s but what happened after that? The guys grew older and they started to record the kind of shit what Slang album is among the other newer releases. This album is not even near to be called metal, I won’t even call it hard rock. Slang is an album full of boring radio pop. There are so many slow songs on the album that it’s irritating even to think of listening to it straight through. Pyromania and Hysteria for example are albums that are from a different planet compared to Slang. In my opinion Joe Elliott is just an average singer. He needs good material to shine. If I put Boyzone album to my stereo (which I don’t want to do) it would sound almost similar to Def Leppard’s Slang. Probably it would be hard to find the differences between newer Leppard and Boyzone. That’s a pity, because I still enjoy when I’m listening to Def Leppard’s High ‘n’ Dry, Pyromania or Hysteria album or some other tracks like Ring Of Fire from Retro Active.
However if you’re into mainstream pop or you’re a big fan of Boyzone or Backstreet Boys, you will probably enjoy this album. Yes, I have heard worse music than what this album contains. I just can’t stand that Def Leppard has done so average and terrible pop album. There are some good hard rock moments in that album but those moments are very rare and hard to find. Don’t purchase this album if you have heard only 80’s or early 90’s Leppard. It will be a huge disappointment as it was for me a couple of years ago. I have warned. You will be bored to dead with this release. My points will be going to Rick Allen, the only one-handed drummer I know.
Best tracks: Deliver Me, Gift Of Flesh, Turn To Dust