11 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like a veteran matinee idol, Bryan Adams projects the sort of romantic masculinity that’s appealing even if the roles are familiar. The Canadian singer/songwriter perfected his mix of heartland rock and romantic pop in the ‘80s and has rarely strayed far from this formula. On 2008's 11, he tackles his new tunes with spirit and a discernable twinkle in his eye, and his rough yet mellowed voice fits comfortably with the album’s themes of love, loss and nostalgia. “Tonight We Have the Stars” (co-written with longtime collaborator Jim Vallance), “Mysterious Ways” and “She’d Got a Way” rekindle some of the heat found on Adams’ past hits. “I Ain’t Losin’ the Fight” and “Flower Grown Wild” have a loose-limbed, rootsy charm, while “Oxygen” and “I Thought I’d Seen Everything” shine with modern rock polish. Adams is at his best when he drops down to a near-whisper, as on the quietly passionate “Walk on By.” Recorded at various venues and hotel rooms, 11 benefits from some sharp instrumental touches, particularly Colin Cripps’ murmuring slide guitar and Maire Breatnach’s keening fiddle.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like a veteran matinee idol, Bryan Adams projects the sort of romantic masculinity that’s appealing even if the roles are familiar. The Canadian singer/songwriter perfected his mix of heartland rock and romantic pop in the ‘80s and has rarely strayed far from this formula. On 2008's 11, he tackles his new tunes with spirit and a discernable twinkle in his eye, and his rough yet mellowed voice fits comfortably with the album’s themes of love, loss and nostalgia. “Tonight We Have the Stars” (co-written with longtime collaborator Jim Vallance), “Mysterious Ways” and “She’d Got a Way” rekindle some of the heat found on Adams’ past hits. “I Ain’t Losin’ the Fight” and “Flower Grown Wild” have a loose-limbed, rootsy charm, while “Oxygen” and “I Thought I’d Seen Everything” shine with modern rock polish. Adams is at his best when he drops down to a near-whisper, as on the quietly passionate “Walk on By.” Recorded at various venues and hotel rooms, 11 benefits from some sharp instrumental touches, particularly Colin Cripps’ murmuring slide guitar and Maire Breatnach’s keening fiddle.

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