18 Till I Die

Bryan Adams

A & M Records, 1996


REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez


If you've seen the South Park movie, you know that Canada has already apologized for sending us Bryan Adams. I don't know when exactly that was, but they probably were asked to apologize some more after he released this album. After years of released radio-ready hits for soundtracks, Adams got together with songwriter/producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange to craft this disc. Clearly Adams tries to prove that he is still capable of rocking and pleasing his fans in the era of Modern Rock and Hip-Hop. This is his attempt at getting with the times and, at the same time, keep a well-placed finger right on what has kept his career going - his radio-friendliness.

18 Till I Die starts with the long-named "The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You." This song makes references to Gucci and Armani within its first verses to make certain that people recognize Adams knows what is cool at the moment. Nevertheless, this pop/rock ditty is one of the more engaging to be found here. In fact, the better songs are easily engagable and acceptable. In that number you can count "Let's Make A Night To Remember" - a pretty decent ballad - and "We're Gonna Win" - a quick rocker that would have been even better if the whoa-whoas at the end had been removed.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There's also some pretty decent tracks here. "You're Still Beautiful To Me" is another decent ballad. "I'll Always Be Right There" is passable - wasn't this in a movie somewhere? "Star" was horrible the first time I heard it, but it gets better after a few listens. "You're Still Beautiful To Me" isn't great, but is better than others. And "(I Wanna Be Your) Underwear" is a like a cheap, thirteen-year-old's joke. So if you like that, you'll like this. (I do).

Then, there's some songs that fall flat on their faces. "Do To You" is standard Adams/Lange fare and that isn't great. The title track makes me want to grab Adams and force him to admit that the 1980s are over. "I Think About You" is a by-the-numbers ballad. "It Ain't A Party-If You Can't Come Around" mixes honky-tonk twang (probably a twang that got away from Shania Twain's albums), but it doesn't improve the song. "Black Pearl," meanwhile, was alright the first time I heard it - when it was called "Brown Sugar." (Sorry, saw David Spade's Hollywood Minute skit on a Saturday Night Live repeat).

The last song in this album is probably the best song here. I'm very sure they added "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" after it became a big hit on its own. The flamenco influences predate even the big Latin Explosion of 1999 - proving Adams was one step ahead of one thing. They add a great touch to a decent song and make it worthwhile. (Though if you want it, get the Don Juan DeMarco soundtrack. It's a better choice.)

There isn't much in this album to be thrilled with. If you are a longtime fan of Adams, then you will like this album. Everyone else has been warned. Though there are a few good moments, I'd avoid this one... unless you like radio-ready soft rock. (There's something else Canada should apologize for.)

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 1999 Alfredo Narvaez and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of A & M Records, and is used for informational purposes only.