10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In an era dominated by glitzy video-friendly pop stars and serious, issue-oriented heartland rockers, Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams managed to avoid becoming either. He was an unpretentious everyman who preferred white T-shirts and jeans and songs that spoke simply of love and its dangers with short, concise pop guitar hooks that radio could take to heart — and eventually did. At the time of 1983’s Cuts Like a Knife, Adams had released two overlooked solo albums — though his single “Lonely Nights” made a modest impression — and had been placing songs composed with songwriting partner Jim Vallance with other artists. His next album, 1984’s Reckless would break him internationally. But here with “Cuts Like a Knife,” “The Only One” and “This Time,” Adams established his solid reputation as a writer of high caliber pop. His scruffy voice adds just the right amount of dirt to the tracks (Rod Stewart-lite), and the guitar-organ mix retains an excited edge without settling into cliché (Tom Petty-lite). Adams remained a modest rocker, handy with a ballad (“Straight From the Heart”), who like, say, Steve Miller in the previous decade found the winning formula and stuck to it with unforced ease and grace.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In an era dominated by glitzy video-friendly pop stars and serious, issue-oriented heartland rockers, Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams managed to avoid becoming either. He was an unpretentious everyman who preferred white T-shirts and jeans and songs that spoke simply of love and its dangers with short, concise pop guitar hooks that radio could take to heart — and eventually did. At the time of 1983’s Cuts Like a Knife, Adams had released two overlooked solo albums — though his single “Lonely Nights” made a modest impression — and had been placing songs composed with songwriting partner Jim Vallance with other artists. His next album, 1984’s Reckless would break him internationally. But here with “Cuts Like a Knife,” “The Only One” and “This Time,” Adams established his solid reputation as a writer of high caliber pop. His scruffy voice adds just the right amount of dirt to the tracks (Rod Stewart-lite), and the guitar-organ mix retains an excited edge without settling into cliché (Tom Petty-lite). Adams remained a modest rocker, handy with a ballad (“Straight From the Heart”), who like, say, Steve Miller in the previous decade found the winning formula and stuck to it with unforced ease and grace.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
77 Ratings
77 Ratings
moutnman ,

fresh

THIS SOUNDS AS CLEAR AND FRESH AS IT DID IN 83' IF IT WAS RELEASED TODAY IT WOULD STILL BE A HIT !!! It stands the test of time

Rich1971 ,

Song for A Playmate...

Just a little Bryan Adams trivia: track 10 was written for 1980 playmate of the year, Dorothy Stratten...who was killed in a murder suicide by her husband. She was beautiful. She was the next big star. She was 20.

Dr. KP ,

Cuts like a knife, by Bryan Adams

His best effort by far. Every track is interesting and worthwhile.

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