Business as usual for Bryan Adams but there's a lot to like about So Happy It Hurts

So Happy It Hurts is studio album number 15 from rock’n’roll Peter Pan Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams - So Happy It Hurts cover art
(Image: © BMG)

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For four decades, Bryan Adams has been the master of boy-next-door, chorus-led radio-friendly rock. He has occasionally deviated from that path, but just when you think that might mean he’s acting his age (now 62) he’ll snap back into the groove – as he’s done here. 

There are co-writes with longterm collaborators Jim Vallance and Gretchen Peters, and ‘Mutt’ Lange (co-writer/producer of 1991’s best-selling Waking Up The Neighbours) is at the desk beside Adams on three of the 12 tracks, having helped him write seven. But, really, this is just Adams grinning and doing what he knows he does best. 

He does slightly break type on the excellent Never Gonna Rain, and goes a bit rockabilly on I’ve Been Looking For You, but it’s pretty much finger-snappin’ rockers all the way. 

The title track is classic Bryan Adams, right down to its ‘woah-woah’ refrain, and even the slower tunes sound more like Def Leppard than a stab at the dreaded ballads market. The stand-out is Kick Ass, a knowing homage to himself (and AC/DC) begun with a 90-second spoken-word intro by John Cleese. 

What’s not to like?

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.