As if putting out three full-length releases this year weren't self-indulgent enough, Adams's latest is also a conceptual nine-song cycle; each track is meant to capture a year of his 20s. This is a more varied set than either of his 2005 by-the-book country rock efforts - due in part to the fact that Adams has ditched all but one of his Cardinals bandmates, perhaps hoping to match his introspective lyrics with solipsistic performances. He adapts his vocals to the shifting arrangements, channelling David Gray on the reverb-marred Night Birds, Antonio Banderas (!) for wack flamenco and Bryan Adams on the piano schmaltz of Blue Sky. Too bad he's taken a page from the R. Kelly book of declarative expository statements, turning what should be soul-baring narratives into play-by-plays ("It's midnight / At the Starlite / Diner .../ Now I'm standing / In the corner"). Few of the tracks have been fleshed out beyond a sketchy idea, leaving repetitive six-minute meanderings, and if awful album-closer Voices is any sign, Adams thinks melody is unnecessary.