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| 11 March 2022 | Reply

Label: Badams Music Limited / BMG Records

Release Date: March 11, 2022

Rating: 96%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are artists that deliver release after release, maintaining their musical vision regardless of the musical currents, tides, and sometimes floods, that wash over the world.  Bryan Adams is one of those performers.  From my first exposure in 1981 with You Want It You Got It and swelled from there through the ebb and flow of the years, fads, and thousands of musical releases I have listened to.  Disc opener and title track “So Happy It Hurts” takes us back to Adams’ rock sound with a mild radio pop sound woven into the songs DNA.  The guitar sound is fun, the rhythm section is perfectly suited for the track, and the vocals could have been ripped from those his earlier releases – does the guy age?  The cadence gets the foot tapping and the overall track puts a smile on your face from first note to last.  “Never Gonna Rain” kicks off with a killer bass line that quickly becomes the foundation for this track, that builds through the verse and into the chorus.  There is something about this song that is different from a lot of Bryan’s catalog, yet similar enough that it feels like you have known this track forever even after the first pass through.  The chorus is contagious and has depth thanks to the layered background vocals.  “I’ve Been Looking For You” is a great track that builds Adams’ musical arsenal with another vibe and sound that he stepped into like a comfortable pair of jeans.  Don’t blink or you will miss this song that clocks in at 2:00 but it is a fun two minutes that will stick with you long after the song ends.  “On The Road” is a cool hybrid that brings Bryan’s cool rock vibe and swirls in a darker punk rock vibe and keeps the overall groove of the disc intact while bringing a slightly different sound to the table.  The breakdown and drums between the verse and chorus is a cool touch.  “I Ain’t Worth Shit Without You” is just a fun song.  From the title to the lyrics to the musical component, this song checks every box on the fun checklist.  Adams vocals on this one takes me back to “Summer Of ’69” or “Lonely Nights” — again, does this guy age?  The overall vibe of this song adds depth to the disc, adding another classic to the repertoire BA can toss out during a live set that will get the guys headbanging with fists in the air and the women dancing in the aisles.  “Just Like Me, Just Like You” is a fun track that is about as catchy as it gets.  The rhythm of the track swirled with the cool guitar effects and slide sound added in give this song a fun vibe that builds with each listen.

“You Lift Me Up” is a cool pop-rock twist on the 90’s ballad Bryan Adams, but with a classic rock shot in the arm thanks to the heavy bottom end heading into the chorus and the solid guitar work where orchestration was back then.  This is a great track that hits home lyrically and presents a whole package that can strike at the heart of most listeners.  “Always Have, Always Will” is another power ballad, but this one has an early 80’s feel wrapped around a modern track with lyrics only a mature artist could perform.  The song’s structure has cool timing stop and starts that add to the tracks overall vibe.  I find myself humming this song long after I walked away from my desk and turned off the disc… thank you for this earworm, Mr. Adams.  Shifting gear from the ballads on the disc, Adams tosses in one with a verbal intro.  “Kick Ass” is a killer track and one of the tracks on this disc I hope to see and hear Bryan carry over to his setlist when he tours to support this disc.  The lyrics define the path he cut his whole career.  The way the song swings into the intro with each part being called in by Adams himself is fun and the heavy-handed simplicity of the song is amazing and will get fists in the air… even if it’s just me in my office.  “Let’s Do This” is an interesting song that unfolds like a Def Leppard ballad from 1987, but quickly shifts to 100% Bryan Adams once he adds his vocals and stamps his sound and feel all over the track.  The guitars through the bridge are some of the best on the disc adding dimension and feel without being overpowering.  “Just About Gone” has a different sound and feel that give the disc a bit of a kick as we near the end of the collection.  The common thread that keeps this cohesive is the fun spirit of the song as well as BA’s familiar vocal and guitar work.  The song nicely ties together different facets of the disc.  Disc closer “These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life” is one of the songs that will stick with me long after this review has gone up and the disc has been absorbed by millions worldwide.  From the haunting guitar that opens the track to the vocals that demonstrate Bryan’s grasp on the human condition and what drives each of us from day to day.  Don’t miss this one as the disc winds down.  As a matter of fact, do what I do and take this one for a second spin every time you listen through these twelve tracks.

Tracklisting: So Happy It Hurts – Never Gonna Rain – You Lift Me Up – I’ve Been Looking For You – Always Have, Always Will – On The Road – Kick Ass – I Ain’t Worth Shit Without You – Let’s Do This – Just Like Me, Just Like You – Just About Gone – These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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