Bryan Adams still cuts like a knife
Actually the answer is Europe, where a musician can still butter his bread with just a guitar and a microphone. No fancy beat-box producers required -- or wanted.
Now the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of his travels: Adams' new CD -- "11" -- hits Wal-Mart on May 13 (another exclusive deal for the mega-mart). However, the disc has already been released in Europe and is available as an import from the usual online vendors for those who don't want to wait.
Don't worry about hurting the laid-back Canadian's feelings either way. Adams seems comfortable out of the hottest spotlights, chugging along since his 1980 self-titled debut. Hard to believe it would take him four years to get his first big break on the charts with 1984's "Lonely Nights." Still, his patience has paid off with 21 top 10 hits and 65 million records sold.
So what does the new disc offer? Some quick highlights:
OUT OF LOVE: Adams is at his best when singing about the highs and lows of the heart. "Something to Believe In" laments the total loss of faith when a lover leaves him emotionally stranded: "Cruel twist of fate keepin' me awake when I need to sleep to take away the hurtin'." Been there, done that. And it still aches to hear it again.
BACK IN LOVE: How Bryan can flip the switch from the beautiful and necessary misery of heartache and suddenly crank out an epic celebration like "She's Got a Way" is the key to his career: "Whenever she touches me, no one else can feel, as much as me."
EUROPEAN INFLUENCE: According to the press kit, the album was recorded in hotel rooms and backstage at concert venues in Europe over the last two years. The result: a clean, retro feel totally devoid of today's electronic influenza.
A LITTLE HELP FROM A FRIEND: Though "11" is mostly produced solely by Adams, uber-produer "Mutt" Lange (Def Leppard, AC/DC, The Cars) joins back up with him for "I Thought I'd Seen Everything" and "We Found What We Were Looking For."
CATCH HIM LIVE: Adams is doing only a short 15-city tour across the U.S. in May to promote the new album. (One show lands in Orlando, Fla.) Check out his official website for dates and locations.
BUY OR NO BUY: First answer these questions: Did you like the latest offerings by REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, R.E.M.? Then give this disc a chance. On the other hand, are you listening to the new Madonna CD for the 10th time in three days? Stay away ... stay far, far away. Not even Bryan Adams can help you.