Living in England all these years has finally got to Bryan Adams – now he’s lifting Beatles lyrics.
Amongst the usual barrage of relentless and gratuitous rhyming, catchy pop hooks and rock clichés on his latest album, there’s a song called If I Had You that contains the line, “The sun is up, the sky is blue, there’s nothing I can’t do if I had you.” The line in the Beatles’ 1968 song ‘Dear Prudence’ goes, “The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you.” I have no doubt it was an unconscious thing.
Bry may be guilty of writing facile pop songs that aim for the lowest common denominator – when he’s obviously talented enough to do more but he’s no plagiarist. Even so, a faint Beatle-esque vibe has crept into other songs on this album – more romantic and less adventurous than his previous record (but at least there’s nothing about wanting to be someone else’s underwear). I’m a Liar is one of the stronger examples.
‘When You’re Gone’ also has a bouncy British feel (and a bouncy Spice Girl, Mel C, singing backup). That, among many songs, seems to have a forced edge that masks sappy lyrics capable of making Corey Hart blush. Bry hasn’t gone completely soft. ‘Before the Night is Over’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ provide a back-to-back blast of his trademark anthemic rock. For all its faults, this is still an occasionally clever and listenable album – just as long as you don’t pick it apart too much.