#Review: Bryan Adams – So Happy It Hurts

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Bryan Adams needs no real introduction, however for anyone who doesn’t know, he is a Canadian multi-talented singer, songwriter, composer, guitarist, record producer and photographer. With 14 studio albums already behind him, 2022 sees the release of his 15th record, So Happy It Hurts. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Bryan Adams - So Happy It Hurts

For his fifteenth studio album, Bryan Adams set out to create an upbeat, feel-good rock album, and that is just what he did. From start to finish, the record is unashamedly happy…which is where the title, So Happy It Hurts, comes into play.

From it’s opening, title track, to the closing ‘These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life’, which looks at all the little nuiances in his life that mean so much to him, the album is filled with a joyous positivity.

There’s a lot to enjoy about this record however there are times where it feels like a progressive step forward in sound wouldn’t have gone amiss. Additionally, lyrically it is quite simplistic (dare I say it, even a little cringey in parts, particularly on ‘Let’s Do This’) and some more poetic licence could also have been applied.

That said, it’s a triumph in that Adams played the majority of the instruments on the album, due to recording constraints during the global Covid pandemic. Also, his voice is impeccably strong and as powerful and raspy as ever, showing off that he still has a great deal left to give.

For people looking for some euphoric escapism in the form of feel-good rock, this is certainly an album for you.

There are some great tracks throughtout the record though, including single, ‘Kick Ass’ featuring a great introduction from comedy legend, John Cleese and a truly “kick ass” and catchy guitar riff; ‘Always Have, Always Will’ feels like a classic Bryan Adams track tinted with some underlying reggae vibes that lyrically touches upon a long-lasting love that’s survived the test of time and is greatly appreciated for what it is; and ‘I Ain’t Worth Shit Without You’ is a great guitar-led track that really packs a punch.

Possibly my favourite track on the record though is the 50s-esque, rock’n’roll inspired, ‘I’ve Been Looking For You’ – I particularly love it as it stands out so brilliantly from the rest of the album and offers something different than any of the other songs.

The collection of 12 tracks celebrates being happy in what has been a terribly dark time for many, and provides an escape from reality that so many have needed.

For people looking for some euphoric escapism in the form of feel-good rock, this is certainly an album for you. It’s not necessarily breaking any boundaries sonically but it does give you the lift you need on a down day and will have you bopping along from start to finish.

Rating
3.5


‘So Happy It Hurts’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/so-happy-it-hurts/1586975297


So Happy It Hurts on Spotify

So Happy It Hurts (Official Music Video)

Never Gonna Rain (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the singer’s latest album? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Dashboard Confessional – All The Truth That I Can Tell

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All The Truth That I Can Tell is Dashboard Confessional‘s ninth studio album. It poses as both a reinvention and a rediscovery of what made the band the big emo hitters. Returning to work with James Paul Wisner (The Swiss Army Romance, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most), have Dashboard Confessional reignited the flame that lit so many fans over the past 20 years?

Dashboard Confessional - All The Truth That I Can Tell

It’s not always common for a reviewer to pin their colours to the mast about the band they are reviewing, but for the sake of clarity and sense I will declare that I’ve never been a huge Dashboard Confessional fan. Many of my friends loved them, but I just didn’t get the hype at the time of their breakout years. However, times have changed. I have matured (don’t laugh), or at least my tastes have, and I wanted to give Dashboard Confessional’s ninth studio album a try, to see if I can work out why they are a band that has managed nine studio albums. I’m going into this blind… (or deaf?!) having not really listened before…

All The Truth That I Can Tell is a very complete album that requires your full attention.

Initially I was surprised to find that the whole album is based on acoustic and it is all the better for it. It’s a mixture of acoustic rock like ‘Pain Free In Three Chords’ but mostly straight up ballads like the single ‘Burning Heart’ and the beautifully crafted ‘Young’. Having the whole album as an acoustic affair allows for the lyrics to steal the show and gives the record a very mature feel. Despite this, there are still some wonderful guitar flourishes such as those in the ‘The Better of Me’ to add some colour to the music, alongside the well-crafted lyrics.

Lyrically, the album has a very narrative feel. As someone who is approaching their mid-30s it did speak to me and again I was surprised. It’s touching on the usual stuff you would expect; love, loss and everything in between, but it also pulls on more mature themes such as becoming a parent (‘Me and Mine’) and letting go of the trivial past and appreciating the little things in life (‘Here’s To Moving On’). It shows that Dashboard Confessional are avoiding what many bands from the 2000s have failed to do, and that is keep themselves relevant to their ageing (and sometimes maturing) fans.

Chris Carrabba is writing about what I can only assume is his here and now. This is the aspect of the album I loved the most. I found myself going back to tracks that I wasn’t paying full attention to on the first listen so that I could delve deeper into the narrative. And that’s just it. No clumsy metaphors, just a long stream of thought written out over beautiful acoustic melodies. It’s very descriptive story telling over music that, as I already said, draws you into to listen more intently.

Overall this album should be appreciated as a whole, but there are some standout tracks that are worth their own mention here. Firstly, ‘Everyone Else Is Just Noise’ is a great example of how acoustic tracks can have a great dynamic range even when just a few instruments are utilised. Also, ‘Sunshine State’, a song about regrets and letting go of the past, has a great singalong factor, it’s simple chorus which is now living rent free in my head.

If I could have one small criticism of the album, it is that the stripped-back nature of an acoustic setup feels like it removes some of the emotion from the music. A good example of this is in ‘The Better of Me’, where there is a great build up in the music and some raw vocal emotion pushing through, but it feels a bit flat as it hits it’s climax. I feel that a full band on some of the tracks would really help to hit home, the emotions that Carraba is trying to get across in his vocals. But you can’t have it all and having a full band in other tracks would have the opposite effect of ruining some deeper emotional meaning from the lyrics.

All The Truth That I Can Tell is a very complete album that requires your full attention. It has great attention to detail in both the lyrical content and in it’s musicality. It needs your full attention because it’s trying to tell a story through a straight narrative, rather than setting a tone of emotion. It feels very direct in that sense and if the lyrics speak to you then you will love this album, if they don’t you’ll probably still enjoy some stand-out tracks.

Rating
4


‘All The Truth That I Can Tell’ is out 25/02/22 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/all-the-truth-that-i-can-tell/1580384081


All The Truth That I Can Tell on Spotify

Coming 25/02/22.

Here’s To Moving On (Official Music Video)

Burning Heart (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Dashboard Confessional’s ninth studio album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Rob Manhire
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#Two4Tunesday: Dappy – ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em & OneRepublic – ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic


   

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Dappy – ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em

Dappy is finally back with the epic new tune, ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em. The track has a distinct afrobeat vibe to it.

The tune is less obviously catchy than some of his previous hits, but it’s still a superb track; a real urban, summer song! Hopefully this will signal the upcoming release of his second album, tentatively titled Miracles.

The music video is based in London and sees Dappy and Ay Em performing on the streets, with some quirky animations weaving their way throughout.


‘Oh My’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/oh-my-feat-ay-em-single/1380654873



OneRepublic – ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic

Take from the soundtrack to the second season of Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, Colorado pop rock back, OneRepublic, have teamed up with American rapper, Logic, to create an incredibly fitting track.

The band’s latest single features Ryan Tedder‘s stunning and passionate vocals, on top of a thumping, almost empowering beat, accompanied by a verse about suicide, by mental health advocate, Logic. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the latest series of the mysterious teen drama.

OneRepublic have released a string of new singles now, but no album has been announced…hopefully these are all signs of one to come!

No music video has been released, as yet, but the audio video can be seen below. If one is released, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.


‘Start Again’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/start-again-feat-logic/1381914023?i=1381916994


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’ & ‘Lost In Japan’


   

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March 2018 saw the return of Shawn Mendes, who brought us not just one, but two brand new singles, both of which vary greatly in style but have equally brilliant Feel-Good Friday vibes. We just couldn’t decide which one to share, so figured, why not share both?!

‘In My Blood’ is a (pop)-rock ballad that transcends from a soft, despairing beginning into a thunderous, passionate anthem by the very first chorus and continues to soar from there. This track shows off just how incredible Mendes’ vocals are with their raspy tones that show just how intensely meaningful this song is.

Meanwhile, ‘Lost In Japan’ is a melting pot of contemporary funk with R&B and pop flavours too; it’s very reminiscent of something by Justin Timberlake. This track is also passionate but in a very different way; lyrically the song expresses how Mendes would happily travel the globe just to be close to his lover, all of which sits atop a heavy bassline and groovy guitar rhythms.

Sadly, no music videos have been released as yet, but as soon as they do, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of Shawn Mendes’ two new singles? Are you as much of a fan as us? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’


‘In My Blood’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/in-my-blood-single/1359906692



Shawn Mendes – ‘Lost In Japan’


‘Lost In Japan’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lost-in-japan-single/1360548138


#FeelGoodFriday: SafetySuit – ‘Perfect Color’


   

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Although they released their third, self-titled album last year (2016), SafetySuit are already back with a cracking new track, ‘Perfect Color’.

I have a lot of love for this band and this latest track is so uplifting and positive that it was just perfect for sharing on #FeelGoodFriday.

It’s a song that singer, Doug Brown, sings, “To the misfits and the freaks, to the outcasts and the geeks, to the weird kids that don’t care.” It is without a doubt, not just a fan anthem but a song that cries out to just about anyone, to belt at the top of their lungs. It’s an anthem that just about anyone can accept into their hearts as “their” song. The echoey, euphoric guitar riffs make for the perfect ascension to the already all-consuming chorus.

As for the lyrics – they’re a stroke of genius – the use of colours to tell the message is beautifully crafted. I can be certain that I will be singing this in my car, windows down, volume up!

No music video’s been released but the lyric video is pretty stunning – check it out below!

What are your thoughts of the band’s latest single? Are you a fan of this uplifting track? Got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Perfect Color’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/perfect-color-single/id1231624768


#MellowMonday: A R I Z O N A – ‘Oceans Away’


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We’ve featured the American trio, A R I Z O N A before and damn it, we’re going to do it again! ‘Oceans Away’ is the most recent track to be released by the songwriter/producers and it’s as encapsulating as all of their other releases.

I love the sound of this track, and indeed the band, because they fuse the softer side of rock with the more contemporary sounds of pop, topped off with almost house-like beats. It’s virtually genre-less but it doesn’t matter; it’s damn catchy and their sound fills the listener with intrigue and admiration.

I know that the band are currently hard at work on their debut album, but in my opinion, it cannot come quick enough!

No video has been made as of yet, but we’ll keep you posted on this!

What are your thoughts of this band? What’s your favourite song they’ve done? Please let us know your thoughts or share your own #MellowMonday track in a comment below or via our social media, using the hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Oceans Away’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/oceans-away/id1182618729?i=1182618765


#MellowMonday: Benjamin Francis Leftwich – ‘Summer’


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Benjamin Francis Leftwich is an English singer-songwriter from York. He released his debut album in 2011 but he’s now preparing to release the foll0w-up, on 19th August, called After The Rain.

His clear, folk influences and similarities to Damien Rice and José González make it the perfect song for #MellowMonday. ‘Summer’ is a fantastic song – the almost whispered vocals sit beautifully amongst the high-pitched and dancing guitar melodies. It’s evocative of a warm summer evening in a vast field in the English countryside.

What do you think of this track? Have you heard it before? Got anything similar for us to hear? Please leave your song recommendations in a comment below or tell us via Twitter and Facebook!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Summer’ is taken from the forthcoming album, After The Rain, and can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/summer/id1081985568?i=1081985774


#ThrowbackThursday: Nickelback – ‘Photograph’


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Nickelback; you either love them or hate them, there doesn’t appear to be a middle ground for people. Personally, I love them!

‘Photograph’ was released back September 2005, and it reached inside the Top 20 of the UK charts and Number 1 in the UK Rock chart.

The song itself is filled with sentiment and is sentimental to me personally, as it was not long after the song’s release, that I left school.

Nickelback have become synonymous with either producing heavy, metal-influenced power songs, or the complete opposite; easy-listening, emotive ballads; this song is the latter, but it’s just perfect!

What do you guys think of Nickelback? Do you like/remember this song? What would be your choice for this #ThrowbackThursday? Please share this post on your social media and tell us your song choice in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Photograph’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/photograph/id214403406?i=214403497


#WildCardWednesday: A R I Z O N A – ‘Where I Wanna Be’


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A R I Z O N A are a band that begun in New Jersey and consist of three members. There is a distinct lack of information about the trio online, but this song has definitely captured my attention!

‘Where I Wanna Be’ is one of their most notable singles so far and has been featured on several YouTube channels and Spotify playlists.

If this song is anything to go by, their album looks set to be amazing! I can’t wait to hear more – go check out their other songs on YouTube.

What do you think of A R I Z O N A? Are you new to them? Have you got anything similar you can share with us? Please leave a comment below or chat with us via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Where I Wanna Be’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/where-i-wanna-be/id1073617054?i=1073617060


#ThrowbackThursday: Daniel Powter – ‘Bad Day’

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I remember this song distinctly from my A-Level year in secondary school, back in 2005. I was at a house party with some friends and everyone was feeling really down about their exams and this song came on; it sort of made us all feel down, but better at the same time. This song is one of those that although now I don’t overly like it, it holds a lot of memories for me.

Believe it or not, Daniel Powter is still active, with his most recent album being released in 2012.

Who else remembers this song? Does it hold any memories for you? What’s your Throwback Thursday song this week?

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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