Picks and Pans Review: Into the Fire

updated 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Bryan Adams

Like his elders Rod Stewart and Kim Carries, Adams, 27, sings in an appealingly husky voice and, with co-producer Bob Clearmountain and co-writer Jim Vallance, turns out a well-rounded kind of pop-rock sound. He needs the buoyancy of that sound on this album, which is, as far as the lyrics go, not an upbeat project. Sprinkled throughout are such lines as, "No one gets outta here alive," "Sometimes you're better off dead," "They drink their beer and they talk about friends/ Who didn't come back from the war," "On the fields of Europe young men were falling." Then there's Native Son, a song about the mistreatment of North American Indians. While it could be argued that this is all a lot more sobersided than necessary—Adams seems to be on a Serious Artist trip—it is, at least, relatively intelligent sobersidedness. Adams' voice and Keith Scott's lead guitar are effective complements, and while it would be nice to hear just the two of them do something quiet, the album's rock rhythms help keep things from getting too depressing. Heat of the Night is the current hit single off the LP, but some might prefer the slightly mellower Hearts on Fire. (A&M)

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