Records: Bryan Adams Unplugged (A&M 540 831 2)

This, surely, makes a nonsense of the "acoustic" tag suggested by the term Unplugged. Sure, Adams and band may be playing acoustic instruments on this collection of rehashed moments from his back catalogue, but they're fed through such an array of limiters, compressors, reverb units and the like that these versions sound, if anything, louder and denser than the original "electric" ones.

Like many faced with the potential nakedness of the Unplugged experience, Adams rings the changes on his old material here through the addition of accordion, 16-piece orchestra and Uillean pipes. "I Think About You" becomes a kind of country hoedown, "If ya Wanna be Bad, ya Gotta be Good" a slide-guitar blues stomp, and most audacious of all, the previously brute-forceful "18 'Til I Die" is for some reason given an unusual Eastern- flavoured string arrangement.

It all adds up to a stylish makeover that rather belies his blue-collar style. Adams himself may still rely on jeans and T-shirt, but Unplugged shows that his songs can walk any number of catwalks for him.

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