on October 30, 2005
When I got this album for Christmas back in 1998, I was only eight years old and was the biggest fan of Melanie C. Back then, I listened to only that song. But one day, my Melanie C obsession faded because I started to listen to Bryan's older albums and newer albums. So one day, I decided to go back and listen to the rest of the album with a new frame of mind, and I personally was impressed with what I heard.
The thing with 'On A Day Like Today' is, Bryan Adams fans either love it or hate it, and I personally love it. I think this album definitely ranks up on high standards with some of his best work, and deserves just as much recognition as some of his previous and more popular albums.
'On A Day Like Today' comes two years after "'18 Til I Die" and a year after his second live album "MTV:Unplugged". Between 1996 and 1998 Bryan Adams really experimented and took his music to newer levels. With "18 Til I Die" Bryan experimented more with some blues, and introduced some acoustic work as well, then of course carried the acoustic experiments onto his MTV performance for Unplugged.
However, with this album the music are very similar and simplistic, a lot of the arrangements are the same. The songs themselves have the same sort of 'feel' to them but at the same time have something different to bring to the table. It's a raw pop/rock album at it's best and with this album I think Bryan Adams just wanted to keep it simple and just release an album, then take a bit of a well deserved break from recording.
The singles were the title track "On A Day Like Today", "When You're Gone", "Inside Out" and "Cloud Number Nine" was also a single but it was remixed by the Chicane for the single release which was affective but the original album cut deserves some limelight as well, it's beautiful. All great singles in my opinion, not a single hit and miss.
Elsewhere on the album there are also some great cuts that would have made excellent single material - "Fearless", "Getaway", "If I Had You", and "Where Angels Fear To Tread". "If I Had You" and "Where Angels Fear To Tread" are beautiful classic Bryan Adams ballads I would rank up there with "Heaven" and "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" and "Fearless" and "Getaway" are classic rock anthems in my books.
Also, "How Do You Feel Tonight", "C'Mon C'Mon C'Mon", "I'm A Liar", "Before The Night Is Over" and "I Don't Want To Live Forever" are wonderful as well.
This is a subtle effort on Bryan Adams' part, and it's probably one of those albums you'd definitely have to spend some time with before the hooks really grab you but definitely another five star release from Bryan Adams. Give it a chance.
on May 21, 2004
Bryan Adams' "On A Day Like Today" again marked a new chapter in a legendary career. In the 80s, Bryan did some great work on albums such as "Cuts Like a Knife", his signature album "Reckless", his deep album "Into the Fire", and his commerically successful "Waking Up The Neighbours". Following that string of 4 albums, Bryan released "18 Til I Die" which really didn't achieve the glory of those past 4 albums. His next Studio album was this one and unfortunately, this album keeps Bryan Adams stagnent and makes me wonder if he will ever achieve the heights he had in the 80s.
Like "18 Til I Die" this is not a terrible album, but it just doesn't reach the high standards set by Bryan Adams in the past. Unlike "18 Til I Die" which was an album in which Bryan Adams had a "Mid Life Crisis and Youthful resurgance", this album goes back toward a more mature Bryan Adams. I can best describe this as his "Adult Contemporary Album". Most of the songs could easily be played on an "Adult Contemporary" or "Mix" station. A big change on this album is the absence of Robert "Mutt" Lange (Mr Shania Twain). Lange was a major contributer from a musicianship, songwriting, and production standpoint on the last 2 albums. Lange was never able to achieve the great songwriting that Bryan had with Jim Vallance in the 80s, but didn't do a bad job. The replacement for Lange was producer Phil Thornalley. Thornalley also co-writes some songs with Bryan. The other main co-writer with Bryan is Gretchen Peters whom Bryan worked with on the "Unplugged" live album. As for the Adams Band - Mickey Curry, Dave Taylor, and Keith Scott are all back. Gone is keyboardist Tommy Mandel.
So what doesn't help this album reach the bar that Adams has set. My big feel is that many of the songs lack the personal passion that Bryan brought on all of his albums up until this one. There are 4 songs ("Before the Night Is Over", "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", "When You're Gone", and "Cmon Cmon Cmon") on this album that do show the old passion, but for the most part it does lack the personal passion. Especially the title track "On a Day Like Today" - I thought one of the weakest tracks on the album was picked as the title song. The song does nothing to stick in my mind. It is really the four songs I list above which really carry the album as a whole.
"Before the Night Is Over" has almost a feel from "Reckless" to it. It is the strongest song on the album. Just from the opening chords and lines "Hey Baby". If I were the record company and Adams, this would have been the single I released. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" quick tempo to it and has some great raspy vocals and harmonies, although it doesn't quite have a feel from "Reckless" (this song really stands more on its own as opposed to comparing to past works. "Cmon Cmon Cmon" has a very 90s feel to it and it almost reminds me of "Rock On" and kind of reminds me of a much softer and more mature version of Michael Damian's "Rock On".
"When You're Gone" is the most interesting and eye-catching song. The reason is that Melanie C from the Spice Girls (better known by her Spice Girl persona 'Sporty Spice'). This song starts with almost a retro Beach Boys start. Don't let the Spice Girls connection shy you away from this song. Melanie C holds her own in this song and blends her harmonies beautifully with Bryan on this song. Melanie C basically does background vocals for the entire song and my only complaint is I would have liked to hear her get a little more of a solo (she does get a couple of solo lines). I give Bryan credit for not being afraid to put a Spice Girl on one of his albums.
So Bryan Adams will go the Adult Contemporary Route marking another chapter in what is sure to be a Hall of Fame Career. This won't be one of his albums that gets him into the Hall of Fame, but it won't prevent him from getting in.
on January 29, 2004
I miss Bryan's 80s works, where you could never see him with out his electric guitar in hand, pounding out simple but effective songs much to my delight..,well he still has his guitar, its here on the cover of the album, but unfortunately, that's where it stays.
There are some fantastic mood music songs on here. "C'mon C'mon C'mon" has a great relaxing vibe to it, that you may hear playing in the background of a cozy room on a bleak day or rain-soaked night. It's perfect. "Fearless" is a nice uptempo ballad about cheating, its a nice song though and it works well. "How Do you Feel Tonight" gets things going pretty good but is a little lacking compared to the aforementioned tracks, still a nice song.
A duet with a Spice Girl? Uhhh, I don't know how smart that was, its a good song ("When You're Gone") but I guess ol Bryan was just trying to capitalize on the mainstream power, the THEN power, of the Spice Girls..either way, it too, is a decent song.
But towards the end of the album, things just fall apart and I'm sorry to say that there is nothing special on the album after "Inside Out" which is the last decent track, mixing a nice and steady rhythm with a good beat for some good down-tuned enjoyment. I guess you may consider it a ballad, but to me it isn't quite because it has too much of an upbeat feel for it...might have even sounded better had it been done on a simple acoustic guitar.
For the most part this album has a very soft adult-comtemporary feel to it a la Sting or Rod Stewart, and he has worked with these individuals in the past. When I first heard this album I loved most of these songs but as the year's have gone by (Well, since 2001 when I first got it) I enjoy it a little less and less. The tracks above that I mentioned are always going to be classics to me, but I used to find much more to like about this album...
Stick To Your Guns Bryan. Pull out the guitar and let us hear you rock! 6/13
on October 16, 2003
This 1998 Bryan Adams' work is really smooth and the most suitable for those who have loved Bryan since "Everything I Do For You", #1 hit from Robin Hood soundtrack. Although it does not rock hard as Reckless(1984) or Waking Up The Neighbors(1991), it is one of the finest examples of pure adult rock. And it is smooth as a river, naural as 38-year-old rocker can be like. While Reckless is the hard-edge Bryan to the limit, On A Day Like Today is the softer side to the edge. Both are appeals of Bryan for sure. "When You Are Gone" and "Cloud Number Nine" are acoustic pop rock songs George Harrison or Eric Clapton might have liked. "C'mon C'mon C'mon" is a slow ballad but with dynamic turn from frailty to firmness. Ballads such as "Inside Out" and "Where Angels Fear to Tread" are remnicent of "Everything I Do For You" and are really impressive. "Getaway" is an acoustic rocker yet with trademark hooks of Bryan. "Fearless" reminds me a bit of Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl Like You" at the start, also with Bryan's typical hook. Well, don't worry. Two surprise uptempo rockers as if popped out from Reckless will please you.
A must-have for Bryan Adams' fans young or old. It should also appeal to wide range of rock fans who love George Harrison or Eric Clapton. �@
on May 3, 2001
I came to this party late, but glad I finally got there. I have long been a Bryan Adams fan but sort of fell out with the movie soundtrack stuff. I recently picked up this now 3 yr old CD and WOW!!!!! This is truly best of past, present, and I hope the future Bryan Adams. I have been listening to the CD incessantly for 3 weeks and just do not tire of any of the songs. It flows so smoothly with a mix of rockers, mid tempo, some ballads, and a mature subject matter content coupled with still youthful music. This CD clearly got lost in the shuffle of various factors. It is not too late...go get it and make believe it came out today...it sure sounds like it.
For those of you who admire audio production values, the CD is of spectacular production quality. The wonders of digital audio production are abundant here. Turn it up and let it crank...you will love it! Also novel is the way the disc flows, at times almost concert like in the way one song merges into the next. This creates a very nice effect.
Get this CD....5 Stars ...no question!
on October 8, 2000
I have never been a Bryan Adams fan. His music (and songwriting) has always seemed so childish and immature. His foray into AC ballad land didn't help the situation. However, something happened to change my opinion on this CD. Quite simply, it's the songwriting. His collaborations with Phil Thornalley and, most importantly, Gretchen Peters has raised the level of quality of his music. Unfortuantely, not a whole lot of people got to hear this in the U.S. with the problems over the A+M/Polygram/Universal merger. The Bryan Adams on the title track may have been a bit too much of a shock for them. It's acoustic-rock sound a la Brit Rock was a good departure. The meaty part of this CD is found in the middle with a succession of good songs - "Fearless" sounds great; as does "I'm A Liar". The studio version of "Cloud Number Nine" is infinitely better than the danced-up single release. And "When You're Gone" is just fun to listen to. A good collection from an artist who seems to be very directionless these days - 2 live albums and 2 greatest hits albums in the space of 5 years?? Come on...
on August 8, 2000
Every track on this album is good, some are excellent ('How Do Ya Feel Tonight', 'I'm A Liar' and 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever') and two of them are masterpieces. We all know the nice 'On A Day Like Today', Bryan's musical adventure with Mel 'When You're Gone' and the remixed 'Cloud Number Nine'. The two songs I hold in my heart are 'Inside Out' and 'Where Angels Fear To Tread'. The last song is mostly for the melody, but 'Inside Out' will remain in my top-10 songs for a long time: never have I heard such touching lyrics, where Bryan tells a girl he wants to know her inside out. "The biggest lie you ever told/you're deepest fear 'bout growing old/the longest night you ever spent/the angriest letter you never sent/the boy you swore you'd never leave/the one you kissed on New Year's Eve/the sweetest dream you had last night/your darkest hour, your hardest fight" and he continues "the sadest song you ever heard/the most you said with just one word/the loneliest prayer you ever prayed/the truest vow you ever made/what makes you laugh, what makes you cry/what makes you mad, what gets you by/your highest high, your lowest low/these are the things I wanna know".
Some may say Bryan turned pop or got soft, I say he discovered real beauty... Thanks Bryan! Keep on rocking the world like you did in Flanders Expo, Gent (Belgium) in october '99!
on July 10, 2000
I was expecting a downturn since 18 til I die was a disappointment but I am surprised! Considering that Bryan Adams is now 40(!) I thought he'd just release a VERY toned down album and fade away into obscurity just like many other rock musicians. Instead of sticking with Robert 'Mutt' Lange in order to stick with an AC-DC/Def Leppard formula, Bryan Adams took some risks. Opening for the Rolling Stones in recent years must have rejuvenated him. Overall, these events made this album sound great!
How Do Ya Feel Tonight? is definitely a twist: a mixture of a Canadian rock style with British 90s guitar pop. On A Day Like Today follows an Oasis/Cure formula but with strings! in the background. The fun sing-a-long When You're Gone could have sounded better with Courtney Love, Sheryl Crow or the like. Yet, Mel C does a decent job.
Not to disappoint longtime fans, Adams presents a Summer of 69 like song in Before the Night Is Over and a happier, faster One Night Love Affair song in I Don't Wanna Live Forever.
For those who are searching for slow songs Inside Out and Where Angels Fear to Tread sound ok although they don't grab attention or last like Adams' past slow song hits.
Unneeded are Getaway and I'm a Liar.
In lieu of Lange ex-cure member and Natalie Imbruglia collaborator Phil Thornally and country performer Gretchen Peters put a different spin on Adams' songs as the current co-writers. The lyrics are more mature than in previous albums. Fellow Vancouver musician/producer Bob Rock puts a different twist in the overall sound. A surprise since Rock usually works with metal/heavy guitar musicians.
The album is better than 18 til I Die. Just don't get bogged down by radio stations who are unwilling to put Bryan Adams' upbeat new songs and want either his new slow songs or bad music, usually performed by the carpet bagging bubblegum pop crowd---the reason why all other quality songs from classic pop/rock musicians, especially the older ones, don't get more airplay. Overall, this experimental album met its test.
Buy this album!
on April 30, 2000
Have you ever noticed how some songs can make an artist sound like he's fine-tuning his trademark sound, while others sound he's merely rehashing it? Behold Bryan Adams' "On a Day Like Today," a classic example of an artist both flourishing and spinning his wheels in familiar territory.
The title track is one of Adams' strongest compositions; attention paid to boybands and the Latin music phenomenon made this single an unfortunate radio casualty. It's also a shame that radio listeners weren't treated to "Getaway," a stunning rock-meets-electronica excursion with an irresistible chorus. "How Do Ya Feel Tonight" shows a little restraint but still soars, "Cloud Number Nine" has a warm and sunny Eagles feel to it, and "When You're Gone" is a fun, rocking duet with Spice Girl Melanie C (which manages to succeed even though Sheryl Crow would have been a much better choice for a duet partner).
Elswhere Adams coasts through territory charted on his previous releases. "Inside Out" and "If I Had You" are perfectly acceptable midtempo numbers, but are nowhere near the realm of compelling. "Before the Night is Over" is a tepid exercise, and when the frantic, "Kids Wanna Rock"-tempo of "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" kicks in, you appreciate "Getaway" all the more for being a bit of a departure. This thought is driven home with "Where Angels Fear to Tread," the ballad that closes the album with absolutely nothing new to say.
So what we have is an album that falls somewhere in the middle. Is it worthwhile for a Bryan Adams fan? Definitely...half an album of strong material still equals a half-hour of entertainment, and moments like his self-harmonizing on "Fearless" remind you of why you like him so much in the first place. But for the casual fan of his radio hits, "On a Day Like Today" may too easily sound like a musical recycle bin. Decide how much you like him and go from there.
on March 14, 2000
When Bryan Adams produced one of his worst albums ever, 18 Til I Die, most people were scared to hear more new material from the Candian rock star.
However, Bryan bounced with his best production to date with his Unplugged album. With On A Day Like Today, Bryan Adams turns from the Gucci shoes and Designer boots and hops back to the basic look and produces some of his best material ever.
The songs on here are classic Bryan Adams, ranging from cheesy goofball stuff in "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" to amazing lyrics in songs like, "Where Angels Fear to Tread," (which is one of his best songs EVER, by the way.) There's even the radio friendly duet with Sporty Spice, "When You're Gone." Personally, the version with just Bryan is best, but who am I to decide?
The lyrics, the sound, the production, and everything is superb. I could have made a few changes that would have made this album perfect, but hey, this is as close as we're gonna get. So go buy it.