Inspiration can sometimes take a while to strike. Take Bryan Adams
, for instance. Some 13 years after he cut an MTV Unplugged
decided to once again strip down his songs to acoustic, to take them down to their Bare Bones
, to coin a phrase that’s used for the title of this 2010 collection. Culled from performances from his 2010 North American tour, Bare Bones
doesn’t skimp on the hits but it does dig deep into his catalog, possibly due to Adams
soliciting song suggestions via Twitter, a move that also indicates how this intimate performance is geared toward fans who have stuck with him through the years. Certainly, they’re the audience who will appreciate the subtle rearrangements and surprise songs but the thing is, listeners how long ago stopped paying attention to Adams
due to the over-calculation of his studio records or the spectacle of his live show will find this his most appealing set in years. Backed by just his acoustic guitar and sometimes a piano, Adams
sounds lean, his voice wearing handsomely, his charm put to the forefront. This setting turns such slick also-rans as “Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You” into a fun little rocker and reveals the strong bones of such perennials as “Cuts Like a Knife” and “Summer of 69,” making his body of work seem consistent in a way no hits compilation has managed.