Def Leppard – Songs From the Sparkle Lounge (rock)
Pop metal is severely out of fashion these days, which is why this album is such a treat. Def Leppard has aged surprisingly well, and one song after another on this set sounds like a radio-ready single…if radio still gave a hoot about pop metal.
The Underachiever’s Club – Madonna, Mudcrutch, Portishead, The Roots, Steve Winwood, Carly Simon
If you’re wondering what happened to all of this week’s highly anticipated releases, well, I’m left wondering too. Madonna’s album is good, not great, and she’s been great so often…Mudcrutch is Tom Petty in an even rootsier vein than usual, and is fine if you happen to like Tom Petty…Portishead and The Roots are both somber albums, getting lots of critical praise, but not from this critic…Steve Winwood is more interesting than he’s been recently, but is still stuck in lite rock purgatory…Carly Simon’s album shows some depth, but it lost me when she started rapping about three songs in. Am I expecting too much from these heroes? I’m drawn to music that moves me, and with all due respect, I’d take this week’s featured six over this half dozen any day of the week.