Bryan Adams – ‘Shine A Light’ – Album Review

Bryan Adams is coming in concert to Charlotte, NC on May 4th, 2019.  I thought this would be a great date night for my wife and I so bought 2 tickets.  With each pair of tickets you buy, you get a copy of the new Bryan Adams album ‘Shine A Light’.  I hadn’t bought any new Adams stuff in quite some time so I was glad to get this and I thought, why not review it.  So, here is that review.

The first thing I noticed is that Bryan is more Easy Listening than he is rock now and I guess that comes with age.  And getting through those first two tracks was not easy to listen to at all.  The first song is the title track, “Shine A Light”, and was written by both Bryan and Ed Sheeran.  Yes, the Ed Sheeran.  It is a catchy enough song, but it is pure pop dribble.  And the second track is no better as it is a duet with Jennifer Lopez called “That’s How Strong Our Love Is”. Yes, the J-Lo herself.  Now if you can make it through those tracks, it will get better, I promise.

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“Part Friday Night, Part Sunday Morning” is probably my favorite song on the album.  It is a fun, good old-fashion rock song that Bryan is really good at it.  Great tempo and great rhythm and all around good time.  Not to be out done is “Driving Under the Influence of Love” written with his long time writing partner, Jim Vallance.  Another rocker that takes me back to Bryan in the 80’s.  These are the two songs that should have kicked off this album rather than that crap before it.  It is uptempo and has a guitar solo.  What more could you want.

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The Cover vs. The Cover – “Whiskey in the Jar”

Alright, we are going to shake things up this time on The Original Vs. The Cover.  We are going to actually look at two Cover versions of the same song and let them battle it out.  The song is “Whiskey in the Jar” and the bands are Thin Lizzy and Metallica.

Yes, the Thin Lizzy version was a cover and not an original.  “Whisky in a Jar” is actually on old Irish traditional song that was called “The Highwayman and The Captain”.  The lyrics were altered and the name changed to “Whiskey in the Jar” by the Beasley Brothers some time in 1967.  The song was later made famous by the Irish band the Dubliners in 1968.

The story behind the song is that this traveller (or highwayman) stole money from Captain Farrell.  He took it to his woman who betrays him (however, it doesn’t say what the betrayal is).  He later sees Captain Farrell again and ends up killing and winding up in prison.  It is such a happy song!!

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Black Star Riders – ‘Heavy Fire’ – Album Review

‘Heavy Fire’ is Black Star Riders third album in just 4 years and they keep getting better.  For those that don’t know Black Star Riders, the band is really made up of the current members of Thin Lizzy.  They wanted to release some new songs, but they didn’t want to release them as Thin Lizzy so they created Black Star Riders.

I think I understand why they did it.  If you think about it, was anyone looking to hear new music from Thin Lizzy…No, probably not.  This was actually a brilliant move as it caused a lot of buzz around the original release and here they are 4 years later getting better and better.

The band members are as follows:

  • Ricky Warwick – vocals
  • Scott Gorham – lead guitar
  • Damon Johnson – lead guitar
  • Robbie Crane – bass
  • Jimmy DeGrasso – drums

The album is a guitar heavy, hard rock release and you wouldn’t expect anything less when you have two lead guitarists.  The opening track and title track, “Heavy Fire”, comes screaming in with the guitars and a nice heavy sound.  Ricky sounds fantastic and they deliver a shot that resonates throughout the album.

The first single, “When the Night Comes In”, keeps up with the opening track and now you are completely invested in this album.  I love guitar rock and they bring it even more on this song.  “Dancing With the Wrong Girl” is a little more pop sound, but that doesn’t take away from anything, but actually adds to its charm.  Jimmy’s drums on this one are perfect.  They aren’t over powering and just enough that set perfectly in the song.

The heaviest and baddest song on the album is “Who Rides the Tiger”.  The song is a full on attack of your senses and even the lyrics are a blast.  They guitar solo was amazing and I don’t think I will ever tire of this duo of Scott & Damon.  This is probably my favorite song they have ever done.

“Cold War Love” is next up, but this is one song that I could never connect with.  It is a nice slow ballad, but I wasn’t feeling it.  Hopefully you can connect with it and enjoy it.  Luckily, the next song was their current single, “Testify or Say Goodbye”.  The song picks the tempo back up and gives us more of the what you love from this album.  The classic rock sound, the vocals and all around musicianship make it another standout on the album.

“Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” gives us a little more darker sound and is a nice change of pace for the album without losing the flow of the album.  “True Blue Kid” is another song that misses the mark for me.  I can’t pinpoint what it is about the song, but I found myself skipping it which is never a good sign.

“Ticket to Rise” brings me back to the enjoyment with another solid guitar heavy song with a great solo.  Keep it coming and I won’t tire of it. “Letting Go of Me” is the only song on the album not co-written by Damon Johnson and yet it is still a great song.  This one was a fun song with a faster tempo.

The final track, “Fade”, is considered a bonus track but it is too good and fits nicely with the overall album. It doesn’t have the bonus track feel.  It is a slower song and actually kept my interest.  I usually like albums to end with a bang, but this worked for me nonetheless.  A nice way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. “Heavy Fire” – Keeper
  2. “When The Night Comes In” – Keeper
  3. “Dancing With the Wrong Girl” – Keeper
  4. “Who Rides the Tiger” – Keeper
  5. “Cold War Love” – Delete
  6. “Testify or Say Goodbye” – Keeper
  7. “Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” – Keeper
  8. “True Blue Kid” – Delete
  9. “Ticket to Rise” – Keeper
  10. “Letting Go of Me” – Keeper
  11. “Fade” – Keeper

9 keeper out 11 songs – 82% (4.1 out 5 stars).  The Black Star Riders are killing it on this album.  I always talk about how rock today seems to be missing the guitar rock sound and these guys are not missing anything.  The guitars are outstanding and take me back to when guitars were king.  Nobody wanted to be a DJ, they wanted to play guitar.  For that alone this album is worth it, but it has so much more to offer.  Go grab a copy and get ready to have your ears blasted with what rock should sound like.

Drinking Booze – Playlist

I will be honest, I am not a big drinker.  Doesn’t mean I won’t drink.  I choose not too most of the time as I never got a taste for it; however, Mondays make me want to drink.  Since I do love alcohol related songs, I figured this Monday needs a playlist of booze drinking songs.  There are so many which makes it hard to choose the best ones.

Here is my list of booze related songs that will hopefully help me make it through Monday.

Emphatic – “Put Down the Drink” from the album Damage

Hellyeah – “Alcohaulin’ Ass” from the album Hellyeah

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