Album Reviews

Review: Bryan Adams – So Happy It Hurts

Artist: Bryan Adams
Album: So Happy It Hurts
Release Date: March 11th 2022
Label: BMG
Reviewer: Rod Strachan

Canada’s finest Bryan Adams drops his fifteenth studio album here on us in early 2022! Titled “So Happy It Hurts” this is the follow up to 2019’s “Shine A Light”. Co-producer by legendary man at the controls “Mutt” Lange, Bryan takes the reins on a vast majority of the studio musicianship here.

“So Happy It Hurts” the title track begins our journey some six months after its initial release in October 2021. An upbeat mid-tempo rocker as you come to expect from BA like so many songs that have come before. A perfect intro sing-a-long track. Co-written by Nashville extraordinaire Gretchen Peters, enough said! “Never Gonna Rain” was written by BA & a team of cohorts including Peters , however the star of the show here is clearly Bryan. Credits reveal he played all instruments on the track bar some backing vocals proving why he is held in such high esteem. An absolute gem of a track that deserves the repeat button over and over! Melodic Rock at its finest!

“You Lift Me Up” co-written by Mutt is a smooth and delicate ballad that will stand tall with past efforts. Keith Scott delivers his amazing guitar riffs to this track that is truly uplifting! Several of these tracks pre-date the pandemic and “I’ve Been Looking For You” is one of these. Although dated by Bryan as the Pretty Woman – The Musical era this song would be right at home snug in 2015’s “Get Up” track listing. Co-written by legendary partner Jim Vallance this song is worth of its place here in 2022!

“Always Have, Always Will” has single potential and radio airplay written all over it! Featuring Pat Steward on drums this is a ballad with a different touch as only Mutt Lange can produce! “On The Road” comes across like the soft version sister to 2004’s single “Open Road”. Notwithstanding this song is a worthy inclusion which fits in perfectly with the albums overall direction.

John Cleese makes a guest appearance with the spoken word intro to rocker “Kick Ass”. This intro could very well be the introduction to live shows come tour time. Classic BA lyrics and sound, this is a dynamic track from start to end, Including a searing guitar solo from Keith. At first look “I Ain’t Worth Sh*t Without You” is one of those song titles you wonder how a song came develop from that? As always Adams/Vallance simply put it to bed in the first 30 seconds of the song! Great drum fills from Pat here and the catchy lyrics make this an instant classic!

“Let’s Do This” is one song I thought I wouldn’t be a fan of. Within two listens it has grown on me immensely. While the first ten seconds of the track didn’t grab me as expected the remainder of the track grabbed me by the ear and heralded this is as good as any other ballad in a stellar growing catalogue. “Just Like Me, Just Like You” is a short and simple track….or so it seems until halfway through when I thought my speakers were shorting out! Fantastic production gives a simple song a very creative twist!

“Just About Gone” & “These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life” complement each other well to close out the album. While the former shuffles along and keeps time with the album the latter is simply breath taking! A song built on inventive foundations I will go as far as to say one of Bryan’s best penned and released tracks ever! This ends the album on a flawless note!

If you come here expecting Reckless or Waking Up the Neighbours you came to the wrong album. With passing years artists tend to rest on their past glories. Bryan Adams is an exception to this and continues to release essential albums that continue to soundtrack mine and countless others lives as they unfold. Thank you BA you are an inspiration!

Track Listing
So Happy It Hurts
Never Gonna Rain
You Lift Me Up
Ive Been Looking For You
Always Have, Always Will
On The Road
Kick Ass
I Aint Worth Shit Without You
Lets Do This
Just Like Me, Just Like You
Just About Gone
These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life

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