Bryan Adams, Shine A Light (Universal) ****

AN Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in London, Bryan Adams’s artwork has graced the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar.

His edgier work can be seen in the book Wounded – The Legacy Of War (2013), which highlights the human consequence of war. Yet mostly we know of Bryan’s photographic art from his striking album covers.

While it may well be true that you cannot judge a book by its cover, an album’s artwork often completely does the trick. Shine A Light features a shirtless Adams in profile, looking every inch an international athlete in his prime (even at 59), fit, bold and ready for business.

The picture doesn’t lie. The lead single and title track, co-writen with Ed Sheeran, easily stands the equal of Adams’s finest much-loved back catalogue. Dedicated to his father, the song Shine A Light is a simple, upbeat honest rocker with an irresistible hook, setting out the stall of a confident, accomplished album.

"Deputising" for past duet turns Tina Turner and Melanie Chisholm, Jennifer Lopez shares the stage on the equally appealing That’s How Strong Our Love Is. As expected, Jim Vallance plays co-writer on the lion's share of the songs, albeit Gretchen Peters assists on Part Friday Night, Part Saturday Morning, and Gary Barlow’s regular partner, Eliot Kennedy, contributes All Or Nothing. The set ends on an update of the traditional Whisky In The Jar, a very decent cover indeed.

Adams has just completed his Shine A Light UK tour, and fans now look forward to the British transfer of the hit Broadway musical Pretty Woman, featuring a new score written by Bryan and Jim Vallance.

Ian Sime