Rock the Cradle Lullabies: Dreamin' With Def Leppard
There's little arguing that the long string of hit singles produced by Def Leppard are some of the most fan-friendly songs to ever hit rock radio. Even if you don't add your own harmony vocal every time you hear "Photograph" or break out the air-guitar during "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" there's a good chance that you can't resist singing along to "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Def Leppard songs are by default songs that demand attention and participation, so how do they hold up when stripped down and slowed down and turned into lullabies, as they are here? Your first thought might be that this is some schlocky release made by studio musicians only looking to cash in on Def Leppard's fame but Dreamin' With Def Leppard is not only sanctioned by the band, it is performed by the band's guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell. This must have been quite a challenge for the two rockers but if you want to critique this effort musically you'll find they've done a good job. Some of the re-workings are so laid back that they are barely recognizable, like "Foolin'" where Collen and Campbell initially puzzle the listener with hints of barrelhouse blues. The guys bust out slide guitar for the lullaby version of "Pour Some Sugar on Me," sending the listener to slumber with a distinct southern style while "Love Bites" features delicate acoustic picking and "Hysteria," performed at a snails-pace, is anything but hysterical. These are details a Def Leppard fan will notice, maybe only after repeat listens, but the idea here is to not listen too closely. Just let the music chill you out and nudge you to sleep. Dreamin' With Def Leppard may or may not be a winner on the toddler hit parade but it'll work perfectly for the frazzled rocker who wants to drift off to something different yet with a hint of familiarity.
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