Bryan Adams: Get Up

An album that’s more sketches than finished songs.

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Looking on his latest album cover like a model on assignment for a swish fashion editorial, and with a voice that is still part broken rocks and part molasses, 55-year old Bryan Adams neither looks or sounds like a man withered by age.

Last year’s Reckless thirtieth anniversary tour was a showcase for a freewheeling, self-deprecating frontman with a belly full of creative fire.

It’s infuriating then that he’s taken his foot off the metaphorical pedal, hired Jeff Lynne to produce (who must have a giant ‘Jeff Lynne’ button in his studio that he impacts to make everything sound either like the Traveling Wilburys or parts of Tom Petty’s catalogue) and skimped on the song writing hours he’s put in: there are 13 songs on this album, four of them are acoustic versions pulled from the previous nine tunes.

Admittedly, it still shines and chimes, the charming Yesterday Was Just A Dream is a highlight, as is the swaying Brand New Day, but the opening skiffle of You Belong To Me and the indifferent Go Down Rockin’ (as inspired as its title might imply), are Bryan Adams by numbers.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.