BRYAN ADAMS – So Happy It Hurts (2022)

BRYAN ADAMS - So Happy It Hurts (2022) full

So Happy It Hurts” is the upcoming, highly anticipated 15th studio album from acclaimed singer-songwriter BRYAN ADAMS. Listening to the catchy title song 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.
Of course, the muscular electric rhythm guitars and generally sunny lyrics take us back to a happier time, when MTV actually showed music videos and “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Summer of ‘69” and others by Adams were in heavy rotation.
As its title would suggest, ”So Happy It Hurts” is almost entirely about good vibes. These are stories about adult relationships (good ones). 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 really a weak link among these titles, nor is there one that would have been an MTV champion earworm back in the day. Perhaps as with many veteran musical performers, those musical peaks and hooky high-points of the old days have now been leavened into a less flashy but perhaps more satisfying overall work.

If you aren’t already a fan of Bryan Adams, you likely won’t find anything on ‘So Happy It Hurts’ that will convert you. But if you’re in the fold and if so, you likely have been for 40 years–there’s something to like about almost every song here.
And while Adams’ band, including longtime lead guitarist Keith Scott, is not instrumentally adventurous in the least, these 12 songs are done in a wide array of inflections and tempos. So listeners get a light dose of classic rock (“I’ve Been Looking for You”), jangle rock (“Just Like Me, Just Like You”), pop (“Always Have, Always Will”), mid-tempo shuffle (“Let’s Do This”) and pretty fast rock and roll (“Just About Gone,” “Kick Ass”).

“Kick Ass,” which briefly contemplates a world without rock and roll, exports the listener, “If you can’t play it, raise hell and clap your hands.” The main message of “On The Road” is that “There’s nothing I can’t do when I’m on the road with you.”
For 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.

About the most profound song here is the album closer, “These Are the Moments That Make Up My Life,” which extolls the virtues of hearing your kids laugh, of seeing your wife dancing in the kitchen, not knowing you’re watching. These aren’t high and mighty thoughts; they’re “everyday wonders” embraced and praised as such.

Adams, now 61, looking clean-cut and trim, may not have grown much musically or lyrically since his late-’80s salad days. But he is a pro, in the best sense of the word, who can still dependably give rock&pop songs a tough sheen and make them go down easy.
Highly Recommended


01 – So Happy It Hurts
02 – Never Gonna Rain
03 – You Lift Me Up
04 – I’ve Been Looking For You
05 – Always Have, Always Will
06 – On The Road
07 – Kick Ass
08 – I Ain’t Worth Shit Without You
09 – Let’s Do This
10 – Just Like Me, Just Like You
11 – Just About Gone
12 – These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life

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