Picks and Pans Review: 18 'til I Die
Whether by design or providence, Canadian rocker Adams has become Hollywood's soundtrack golden boy. After such colossal No. 1 hits as "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" (from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991) and last year's "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" (from Don Juan DeMarco), Adams almost seemed not to need to make complete albums anymore.
Until now, that is. 18 'Til I Die, his first collection of new songs since 1991's Waking Up the Neighbors, is a mixture of juiced-up, guitar-giddy rockers and soft ballads, all of which feature Adams's trademark rasp. But few, if any, of these tunes ever match the quality of his thickening soundtrack catalog—and, in fact, one of the album's better songs, "Star," will appear in the upcoming Robin Williams film Jack. Is Adams saving his best material for the screen? It's hard to imagine that he would offer Hollywood "Black Pearl," a tryst-and-shout vignette involving an African-American woman in which he howls, "She was born the black side of midnight/ Well her mama was seventeen/ She was a hot-blooded, God-fearin' Gospel girl/ The finest set I ever seen." The surfeit of such inspired material must have been what compelled Adams to add "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" as this album's final track. He obviously saved the best for last. (A&M)
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