Cuts Like A Knife

Bryan Adams

A & M Records, 1983

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Bryan Adams might be a superstar now, but Cuts Like A Knife was the album that back in 1983 planted the seeds for his modern-day success.

Both some strong songwriting and a just-reaching-puberty MTV helped heaps in the development of Adams as mega-star, but even 15 years after the album was released, Cuts Like A Knifemy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 has some great pop hooks on it, as well as some weak links one would expect from a young rocker.

Three songs stand out in my mind on this album. "This Time" is a healthy slab of pop-rock: short, with a catchy beat and infectious chorus. If Adams could have bottled it, he would have made millions. The title track is also a pop masterpiece, with a guitar line that sounds like it's singing the chorus at times. These two songs, along with their corresponding videos (and, in the case of "Cuts Like A Knife," the mere suggestion of a little T&A), made sure that people would remember the young Canadian for years to come.

But Adams also demonstrated he could work the dreaded ballad in his favor, showing this on "Straight From The Heart". Still kind of rock-oriented for a ballad, Adams delivered the goods well without watering down the message or his music, and the song is much more listenable than other ballads of this time period.

Cuts Like A Knife also contains some "shoulda-been" hits, such as "Don't Leave Me Lonely," which is one of the best groove-based numbers that Adams ever recorded, and could possibly be one of his harder-edged songs of his career. Other songs like "I'm Ready," "The Best Was Yet To Come" and "Take Me Back" aren't as strong, but are enjoyable nonetheless.

There are a few potholes on this album, however. "What's It Gonna Be" and "Let Him Know" are pure filler that disappoint greatly when compared to some of the other songs on this album. And even though Adams was still young and learning the ropes, one would have thought he'd have known better when it came time to do this, his third album.

Still, there are enough good moments and "hidden treasures" on Cuts Like A Knife to make it worthy of your dollars and attention - not even the "greatest hits" compilations could capture all the magical moments off this one.

Rating: B-

User Rating: B



© 1998 Christopher Thelen 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.