After two straight blockbusters that delivered the goods both musically and commercially, anticipation ran high for Def Leppard's follow-up to Hysteria, in spite of the tragic death of guitarist Steve Clark. Unfortunately, Adrenalize sounds somewhat tired, formulaic, and bland, qualities absent from the band's best pop-metal work. Perhaps somewhat understandably, Leppard doesn't sound like their heart is really in the party anthems, and their ballads sound more calculated and generic. But most of all, the songs don't really have the effortlessly anthemic feel Leppard achieved so well on their past two albums, even though they try mightily. Adrenalize is competent, workmanlike, and impeccably produced, but not much more.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey