Picks and Pans Review: Reckless
Like such rockers as the late Lowell George, Bob Seger and Tom Petty, Adams has succeeded in bringing fresh life to a sometimes stale style. Adams, 25, from Vancouver, was under pressure to top last year's platinum-selling Cuts Like a Knife. No sweat. Reckless, his fourth album, is also his best to date. Collaborating once again with producer Bob Clearmountain and songwriter Jim Vallance, Adams employs a basic guitar-bass-drum sound, with restrained solos and harmonies. The impact of such songs as One Night Love Affair, Run to You and Somebody comes from melodic hooks and Adams' hoarse, gutsy vocals. As he makes the transition from opening act to headliner, he seems to be losing his pleasing softer side, which is represented on Reckless only by the love song Heaven, from the sound track of A Night in Heaven. The only real down time on this record, though, is Kids Wanna Rock, a smidgen of calculated concert fodder, and Summer of '69, which lyrically reflects the sort of myopic nostalgia for adolescence that Bruce Springsteen deplores in his song Glory Days. Those two flabby cuts are more than made up for on the bluesy Long Gone and on It's Only Love, which is a terrific duet with Tina Turner. Turner forces Bryan to perform at her own high level of passion, but that is a plateau that Adams is approaching at a rapid rate anyway, getting closer album by album. (A&M)
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