Released on October 2nd
Bryan Adams fans salivating at what he touted as "the ideal follow-up record to Reckless" will surely be disappointed with his latest release, Get Up. The actual follow-up to the classic Reckless was 1987's also classic Into The Fire, which marked the last time Adams collaborated extensively on an album with his early-career songwriting partner, Jim Vallance, until now. Vallance and Adams rarely recapture much of their 80s magic here, however, as only the pretty ballad "We Did It All" and upbeat melodic rocker "Brand New Day" truly warrant repeat listens. The album's remaining seven songs (yes, there are only nine) lean toward uninspired nostalgia trips that seem to be an extension of the lacklustre covers album he released last year, Tracks Of My Tears. Opening song "You Belong To Me" is pure rockabilly, "Don't Even Try" is straight out of the Roy Orbison school of songwriting, and the tired "Go Down Rockin'" demonstrates absolutely none of the danger evident on the early 70s Rolling Stones material it tries to emulate. Then there's "Thunderbolt", mercifully brief with a running time of just over two minutes, which is the second-worst song I've heard all year. The worst? "Hotline Bling" by Drake. I truly fear for a planet where that song is able to become a massive hit.
Get Up's nine tracks clock in at just 26 minutes, with four acoustic versions of those songs padding the running time out to 37 minutes (the iTunes Store version also includes a 12 minute Adams interview), adding up to a rather half-assed release that makes you wonder why Adams even bothered. It's especially puzzling considering Tracks Of My Tears was only released a year prior, almost to the day. Methinks Adams was taking his backwards-looking approach a little too literally this time around by also applying the "one (or more) album release per year" practice of the 60s and 70s to it. Along with a disappointing absence of quality material, Get Up is also a huge chore to get through if, like me, you're not a Traveling Wilburys fan. That's because it was produced by Wilbury member/producer and Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne, whose musical fingerprint stands out far greater on Get Up than Adams' own, causing most of the album's tracks to sound like Wilburys facsimiles. Stick with Reckless or Into The Fire.