NEW ALBUM: BRYAN ADAMS | SO HAPPY IT HURTS
Canadian singer Bryan Adams has released his fifteenth studio new album, "So Happy It Hurts," and it’s almost like the late ‘80s never left us, and the oppression of COVID-19 never existed. That’s much of the point of this and the 11 other new songs here. The muscular electric rhythm guitars and generally sunny lyrics take us back to a happier time, when MTV showed music videos and “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Summer of ‘69,” and others by Adams were in heavy rotation. As its title would suggest, this album is almost entirely about good vibes. These are stories about adult relationships, though not always expressed in the most adult terms. Case in point: “I Ain’t Worth Shit Without You,” which with the substitution of one word in the title may have been able to stand alongside Adams’ heyday hits on terrestrial radio. It’s the hardest-edged song on this album. There’s a uniform quality to these 12 songs; there isn’t a weak link among these titles, nor is there one that would have been an MTV champion earworm back in the day. Even with the changing sounds and speeds, the overall sound here tends to remain a bit samey throughout 12 songs. The most notable musical moment on this album is probably the brief Carl-Perkins-ish guitar solo on “Just About Gone.” The attitude along that 12-song journey is almost universally positive, not weighty, or at the very least offering up rally cries. This Canadian Trans-Canada One is the ultimate open road, much as a Yankee would think of Route 66, Highway 61 or the New Jersey Turnpike—all promise, no pain.