Mad Mad World

Tom Cochrane’s hit, ”Life Is a Highway,” doesn’t let you in on his dirty little secret: It’s a highway measured in kilometers. A lifelong Canadian who sells like gangbusters in the tundra, Cochrane has spent most of his career being described in the U.S. as ”the Canadian X” — where X equals Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, or any other heartland yapper whose name you’d recognize. It must drive him crazy, eh? While Mad Mad World shows occasional Segerisms — ”Washed Away” could be a Night Moves outtake — its frighteningly commercial sound, courtesy of ace producer Joe Hardy, more often makes him sound like the Canadian Robert Palmer. Simply irresistible? Maybe to radio geeks, who have loved this guy since his old band, Red Rider, did the 1981 track ”Lunatic Fringe.” But to me this sounds like well-crafted, extremely soulless radio fodder, a clever replica of music that wasn’t even that interesting in the first place. From the country that brought us Bryan Adams, yet another bland blond’s blunderous blend leading the blind. As they say in the Great White North, blooorg. C+

Mad Mad World
  • Music