MTV Unplugged review by Bryan Adams

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  • Released: Dec 9, 1997
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (25 votes)
Bryan Adams: MTV Unplugged

Sound — 7
Bryan Adams was a superstar extraordinaire when his MTV Unplugged record hit shelves in late 1997. Following the unplugged format of many artists before him, Adams went for a rootsier take on his massive chart toppers, most successfully "Cuts Like A Knife" and "18 Til I Die". The musicianship is well rounded, with instruments such as the mandolin brought in to balance out the standard electric-band-gone-acoustic feel of countless unplugged-style records. The music holds it's own amongst a sea of sappy acoustic ballads and cheap crowd pleasers, with Adams often ditching his rock n' roll persona for a sensitive singer/songwriter mask. It works 95% of the time, but the rest of the record is a bore.

Lyrics — 9
Bryan Adams has always had a strong sense of lyrical prose, and his ability to write love songs are unparalleled. Seeing as this record offered nothing but past hits, most of the lyrics I had already heard. The stark accompaniment of songs such as "Heaven" really turned me on, especially since the song was originally produced in a dated-1980s fashion (you know, synths & drum machines & the like). His raspy tenor cuts through the chimes of his acoustic guitar, giving the record a pleasurable live feel.

Overall Impression — 7
Bryan Adams' MTV Unplugged is not required listening, but it is worth hearing if you're a devout Adams fan or just a fan of acoustic music in general. Certain songs (Summer of 69, Cuts Like a Knife, I'm Ready, and Back To You) really lend themselves to the acoustic delivery, while others (mainly A Little Love and When You Love Someone) should have been left off the CD. A surprising treat for the listener would definately be the blues jam that punctuates "If Ya Wanna Be Bad - Ya Gotta Be Good". The song is a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the album, and it proved that Adams could still bring down a house. All in all, Bryan Adams MTV Unplugged is the kind of album that should be played and enjoyed at backyard barbeques, but not necessarily played anywhere else.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Its not the first troublesome thing to come out of Canada, lets not forget Bryan Adams lol
    AboveTheBridge : Beautiful album, listened to it alot when I was younger south park lol
    justinrobbins7 wrote: the canadian government has apologized for bryan adams on many occasions.
    can get over this lol south park
    it's amazing album for my Fav singer if you care about acoustic songs lestin to his new album "11"