Bryan Adams – So Happy It Hurts (Album Review)

Soon to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Grammy award winning Bryan Adams kicks off the release of his new album So Happy It Hurts on March 11, 2022 via BMG label.

Adams’ fifteenth studio, and first album since 2019’s Shine A Light, So Happy It Hurts is a shot in the arm album that exudes a level of optimism and verve that is downright infectious to all who listen. A musician of many talents hence his nickname, Renaissance Rocker, Bryan Adams proudly carries this rocking album behind the gilded footsteps of his second act as an award-winning Canadian photographer. His seemingly effortless photo capture of the likeness of Queen Elizabeth II in repose earned him worldwide recognition as an exemplary photographer.

Now, he is more than eager to rev the musical engine to begin his world tour experience with a thunderous roar. This is transparently evident on the album cover where he is atop of a classic car with back turned and a guitar raised in a triumphant salute. It will be available on all digital platforms. Fans who desire more of a classic feel can purchase it in a vinyl or CD format. Others who want an added bonus feature can obtain a deluxe CD with a stand out lenticular cover and a hardbound book.

Produced by Adams along with the legendary Mutt Lange, So Happy It Hurts is slightly under 40 minutes and including a dozen tracks. Lively and powerful, it could very well catapult Adams back into the stratosphere of Rock-n-Roll fame with a vengeance and along the way add to his ever-expanding fanbase. Accompanied by Mickey Curry on drums and Keith Scott on guitar, the inspirational catalyst for the album was definitely COVID lockdown. During this time life as we knew it came to an abrupt halt and it wielded a devastating blow to everyone. Businesses were shuttered and later put on life support. Public places gave the impression of ghost towns. Human contact was nil. Life was in a state of suspended animation. Overhead loomed the abysmally dark cloud of uncertainty. Not a soul knew what the future held. As a result, Adams decided to link together the ideas that had come to him during this time and as the COVID related restrictions eased up the album was formed.

Looking back to our first introduction to new music, it was back on October 11,2021 the title-track “So Happy It Hurts” was released. The nostalgic lyrics says it all with the lyrics “Top down, I got the radio on……Blacktop burnin’ underneath my wheels…expertly conveys a sense of freedom and being swept up in a carefree mind set.” This joie de vie is amplified by an energetic melodic blend of guitar strumming and drumbeats that inevitably triggers an involuntary case of head bopping and hip sway. This is the symptomatic response as endorphins course through the brain electrifying an otherwise lackluster mood. The side effect is a contagious smile so wide that it hurts.

Moving forward, “Never Gonna Rain” is an anthem designed to create a shield of positivity to deflect the barrage of negativity that continuously bombards us as we go about this journey of life. A veritable paradigm shift to maintain an upbeat mindset in dealing with life’s disappointments and uncertainty. The lyrics are a no fail recipe for happiness while rolling through the rough times. I’m gonna smile like I never had a heartache. Laugh like I never had a care. Dance like I was born dancin’…I believe that there is a better day…..The slow beat and blusey feel of the tune is catchy and a definite mood booster.

Then with “On The Road” Adams talks about how lockdown years had taken its toll and set him to wondering if he would ever tour again. This is his victory song with a strong Rock-n-Roll beat and a fist pumping one at that. From here there is plenty more to enjoy including “Kick Ass” which starts off as camp fire story with musical emphasis on key words is about how a kick ass rockin’ band was created in a biblical sense and “These Are The Moments that Make Up My Life” offers a soft toned ballad. The latter reflects on the small things in life that is often overlooked and gives one pause to appreciate them over the course of a lifetime. 

Overall, So Happy It Hurts is a must have for anyone who considers them a fan of Rock-n-Roll. The album inspires you to get outside of yourself and realize that you have the power create your own happiness despite circumstances. It is relatable on so many different levels especially with all the chaos in the world. Listening gives a sense of hope and determination that all is alright. One can weather any storm if one can muster the right mental outlook. It is clear that nothing is going to hold back this rock and roller! That is why Cryptic Rock gives this album impressive new album 5 out of 5 stars. 

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