Mission: Immersion 4.0 – Cuts Like a Knife and Reckless by Bryan Adams

A&M 1983

My record collection is full of the most random stuff. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that here in Lawrence, every year there’s this big music and equipment expo out at the fairgrounds, and you can get a whole huge bag of records for $5. This is the only scenario in which I would ever end up with a Bryan Adams album. I was poking through these thousands of vinyls looking for ANYTHING at all that I might even remotely enjoy, and upon seeing Reckless I said to myself, “It has ‘Summer of ’69’ on it. That’s a great jam. It has to at least be worth it to own that tune on vinyl, right?” And Cuts Like A Knife was right there, so I grabbed it as well. It was the same story with the Abba records, although after listening to Bryan Adams, I can say I definitely value the Abba records more…and I didn’t even like them all that much!

To me, Bryan Adams is the definition of a “professional songwriter”, and that’s not a complement. Something about his songs just screams desperation, like he’s always pulling out all the stops to write a hit. That’s his only real goal with all of this, is to make money. Sure, that’s a goal with a lot of musicians and songwriters, but for Bryan Adams, it’s THE goal, and all of his songs just reek of that tepid, formulaic approach. It gets REALLY sad when he starts busting out that lame-ass white-boy blues routine, or tries to go for that bad-boy-in-a-leather-jacket thing. It’s just like, c’mon dude, you’re a skinny little Canadian bitch. There’s nothing “badass” about you. It’s even funnier, then, that Reckless was placed at no. 49 in Kerrang! magazine’s 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. I guess the leather jacket helped Adams there.

Cuts Like A Knife is a really boring album with one decent song, that being the title track. I had a lot of preconceived notions about Bryan Adams before listening to these records, and the first three songs on Cuts proved most of those to be true – contrived, overly-cheesy wannabe radio hits peppered among white-boy blues filler. This was Adams’ third album and the album that broke him into the mainstream. If it was really that much better than the first two records, I can’t begin to imagine how awful those things are.

A&M 1984

Reckless was easier for me to get through, most likely because it contains at least 5 songs I already knew really well – “Summer of ’69”, “Heaven”, “Somebody”, “Run to You” and “Kids Wanna Rock”. I like a few of these songs, especially “Summer of 69”, which everyone likes, even those who really hate Bryan Adams. It’s the best example of his approach, and seemingly the one tune in which he and co-writer Jim Vallance really gelled their ideas. Everything else just seems so general and vapid, which could explain why Bryan Adams had so many hits.

Cuts Like A Knife *1/2 Listening Again? No
Reckless ** Listening Again? Doubtful

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One Response to “Mission: Immersion 4.0 – Cuts Like a Knife and Reckless by Bryan Adams”

  1. Canada’s Best Music – 5 Songs At A Time – Part 7 « Is It Possible To See It All Says:

    […] Mission: Immersion 4.0 – Cuts Like a Knife and Reckless by Bryan Adams (recordgeekheaven.wordpress.com) Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailStumbleUponPrintLinkedInTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Leave a Comment by John Phillips on January 14, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Canada, Canadian Music, Classic Rock, Folk, Live Music, Pop, Rock Tagged Adult Alternative, Canada, Classic Rock, Jazz, Music, Music of Canada […]

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