When I saw Bryan Adams in concert two years ago, I was frankly disappointed. Not necessarily because the concert was 'bad', but because it was too professional. Adams has been doing this for years, this arena pop/rock with little references to the past, songs about sweet (or sour) love, big catchy rock tunes with flat production that allow his grainy voice to soar overtop... in short, the concert almost seemed like a bit of a nostalgia set, done by someone who, although not quite jaded, has been pulling out the same set year after year. One-hit wonder Daniel Powter opened for Adams and the passion in his performance and freshness of his craft was a delight and eclipsed Adams' one-note Canadian-nice-guy performance.
'11' is a good album. It has all the usual Bryan Adams tricks -- the country-tinged downhome songs (I Ain't Losin' the Fight), the heavier beat-insistent rock songs ('Oxygen'), the big romantic ballads ('Broken Wings', 'Somethin' to Believe In'), and so on and so forth. Although Adams has ditched the boyish love songs and replaced them with something more mature and adult-contemporary, he has generally stuck with the same sound as his 80s and 90s gems. That being said, this isn't by any means a bad album, merely an un-original one. However, Adams is a Canadian staple and icon - and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.