Music review: Bryan Adams - ’Shine a Light’

For his 14th studio album, Bryan Adams stays true to the uncomplicated messages that have served the Canadian rocker so well over his fruitful career.

Adams shines in the spotlight as he offers up 12 inspired tracks containing catchy guitar riffs and singalong choruses that would feel right at home on the singer-songwriter’s classic albums “Reckless” and “Cuts Like a Knife.”

The title track was co-written with Ed Sheeran and dishes out plenty of infectious rock rhythms with an inspiring message about realizing your dreams without ever forgetting your roots.

Much like earlier hits “Heaven,” ”It’s Only Love” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” romance is in the air once again as Jennifer Lopez joins Adams on “That’s How Strong Our Love Is.” It’s an electric pairing as Lopez and Adams sing about a love that can withstand trouble, strife and distance.

“Part Friday Night, Part Sunday Morning” possesses a slight hint of rockabilly and reminds me of “You Belong to Me,” the opening track from his 2015 album “Get Up.”

“Driving Under the Influence of Love” carries the familiar spark first heard on prior hits “Summer of ’69” and “Run to You” as the 59-year-old Adams declares to his new found attraction, “I had me a good long look and I like everything I see."

“All or Nothing” is vintage Adams with booming chorus and fiery guitar chords that blend to make a perfect stadium anthem about taking your shot without hesitation or doubt as Adams sings, “World is turning and there’s no rehearsal.”

Other highlights include the passionate rocker “The Last Night on Earth” and melodic ballad “Don’t Look Back.”

The set closes with Adams delivering his version of a traditional Irish folk song. Previously recorded by the likes of Thin Lizzy and Metallica, Adams uses acoustic guitars, harmonica and raspy vocals to give “Whiskey in the Jar” a stripped-down vulnerability to the tale of love and misfortune.

Adams may have traded in his jeans and white T-shirt for a more adult-appropriate look, but he can still deliver the musical goods with a youthful vibrancy that proves he’s showing no signs of slowing down or changing his tune.

Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at clinton43@me.com.

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