Def Leppard were probably the most commercial of the 'New Wave of British Heavy Metal' bands that emerged in the early-80's, so it's no surprise that they were to eventually find much chart success as the decade progressed.
So it's only natural I should choose them as my favourite from that movement, even though there's still much to like from others (and I've got plenty in my collection, from Iron Maiden to Tygers of Pan Tang).
After the reasonable 1980 debut On Through the Night
, this follow-up charges along with much more consistency, the combined vocals roaring catchy choruses to the dynamic crunch and screams of the band's instrumental work.
The opening "Let It Go" sets the scene, and there's not much of a let up on the album's first half. Even the ballad "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" works better than it has any right to, helped by the repeating of its title, sung with more and more passion each time it escapes from the band's collective throats. I'll always have a distaste for power ballads in general, but "Heartbreak" is an exception.
The second half is a bit weaker, with such tracks as "Lady Strange" quite agreeable, but just a tad stale. That is, until the highlight of the whole album - the snarling "Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)" - which hits angrily with its unforgettable take a look into my eyes
As far as the album's lyrics are concerned, they're pretty much throwaway, I've got my whisky, I've got my wine, I've got my woman
from the title track being typical.
It seems many Heavy Metal fans prefer early Def Leppard to what was to come from them later in their career. I don't really follow that line of thinking, but High 'n' Dry
still has a lot going for it, and for me triumphs over some other British metal bands which were emerging at the same time. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor