|Bryan Adams 11||Universal (EU, JP, AU) / WalMart (US)|
Well, at the end of the day this isn't as bad as I first thought, but it still falls way short of expectations and even further short of my ideal Bryan Adams album.|
I guess fans have to be resigned to the fact that the days of Reckless, Into The Fire, Cuts Like A Knife and even Waking Up The Neighbors are so far gone, they ain't ever coming back.
Once you get past that mindset and accept that Bryan Adams 2008 is a crooning balladeer, you can sit back and take in 11 for what it is – a selection of laid back pop ballads and mid-tempo adult contemporary tracks.
There are a few songs here that hint at the brilliance of the songwriter responsible for so many past gems, but at the same time, there are equal number of absolute snoozers that simply don't rate at all.
The biggest issue I have is the fact that Bryan recorded the last 2 albums while on tour, with his portable hotel room studio set up. Writing and demoing on the road sounds like a good idea, but why not do it with the full band and then head into the studio when ready?
The way this is being done - everything is just so laid back – and I don't see the method of recording conducive to anything else.
Why Bryan doesn't utilize that kick-ass band of his and get his ass into a real studio is beyond me. He just needs to kick some life into his music, which is suffering from the slow tempo blues. Track By Track:
Tonight We Have The Stars and I Thought I'd Seen Everything are both decent mature mid-tempo pop/rockers, but to kick off the album at this pace suggests that its only downhill from here.
I Ain't Losin' The Fight hints at the past with a more familiar edge to the guitar sound, but the lackluster pace and average chorus kill off any chance of greatness.
Oxygen is ok and likeable enough for recent era Adams material. The best material is stacked towards the front of the album as it just about ends here.
We Found What We Were Looking For is a boring mid-tempo ballad that doesn't do anything for me whatsoever.
More mellowness with Broken Wings, which has a soulful edge and an ok chorus, but just falls flat. If only he got himself and his band into a proper studio, perhaps some of the edge could return.
Somethin' To Believe In is another laid back track that has a pleasant enough chorus, but is just something I don't need or want again from Adams. I have it already.
Mysterious Ways is slow, boring and without a decent chorus hook.
She's Got A Way features some nice guitar work and a better chorus, but the laid back vibe is lost in amongst all the other laid back tracks.
Flower Grown Wild has a country tinge to the song and again, is something I just don't need or want from Adams. A solid chorus lifts the song, but a rockier direction might have made this track a winner.
The subtle and acoustic Walk On By is actually quite brilliant with it's sparse musical arrangement, but again, the impact is lost amongst a collection of similarly paced slow ballads.
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