"Everyone remembers the fantastic hit "Life is a Highway". It is a catchy, upbeat "driving song" that still sounds great to this day. However, if you actually let the CD continue past that classic opening track, you are going to find some other true gems on here.
Take "Sinking Like a Sunset", where Tom showcases his lower vocal range to a cool beat. "Everything Comes Around" has a somewhat alternative vibe to it with its guitar chord structure, but in a good way....I loved the sound of this song before I ever really embraced anything that could be considered "alternative". I also love the somewhat slower vibe of such tracks as "The Secret is to Know When to Stop" and "Emotional Truth", while the title track and "Brave and Crazy" are good surefire rockers. "No Regrets" is another good pop-rocker that I remember briefly hearing on radio as a follow-up to the well-known monster hit.
A lot of good melodic pop/rock has come from Canada. Many of my generation are familiar with the Bryan Adams' and Loverboys of the world, and I also truly embrace certain obscure melodic rock acts from Canada such as Harem Scarem. This album from Tom Cochrane is another Canadian pop/rock gem...and for more reasons than the classic "Life is a Highway". Strong, enjoyable album from beginning to end."
Thoughtful Canadian Records Pop-Rock-Folk Song Cycle
The Footpath Cowboy | Kingston, NY United States | 12/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MAD MAD WORLD is a thoughtful song cycle by a singer-songwriter who is very similar to Bryan Adams, but he's really a lot more than that. His style owes something to artists as diverse as Tom Petty, the Allman Brothers Band, and Bruce Cockburn. Unlike Adams, whose songs are mostly about love, romance, and having a good time, Cochrane's have a lot of subtle messages about personal survival, triumph, and hard work, although it's sometimes hard to figure out just what he's saying in many cases. This album will give you what you want, if you let it give you what you need."
Much more than "Highway"
J. Carroll | Island Heights,NJ | 09/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, it was "Life is a Highway" that grabbed me. The immediately catchy hook, the joyous chorus and frenetic pacing all contribute to that "feel good" feeling that certain songs produce. But there is a lot more here. The second cut "Mad, Mad, World" immediately takes you to bit of a darker place, a bit reminiscent of Henley's "Dirty Laundry," but holds its own well. The music keeps driving forward, Cochrane knows a hook when he here's one and each song has a fairly strong beat to hang his words on. Lyrically he covers the basic points; relationships and life's choices, but he stays more towards the positive side which is a nice switch from the self-pity you often find in the singer-songwriter genre. While not entirely original sounding (When "Sinking like a Sunset" opens you immediately think Bruce Hornsby and there are other examples. There is a definite Bryan Adams feel here as well) his own vocal style and the infectious melodies support a continued listen. I'm glad "Life is Highway" led me to this and I found it was very much worth a purchase. "
Tom Cochrane - Mad Mad World
Mark F. De Cesare | Massapeqa, NY USA | 08/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the finest albums this musician has put out. Its a shame his band Red Rider has not received the recognition from the the US music industry; he gives Bruce Springsteen and John Couger Mellancamp a run for their money."
An excellent solo debut!
IGotBlue | Canada | 12/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before 'Mad Mad World', Tom Cochrane was always credited with Red Rider. This was a truly excellent start to his career. Although I will admit to prefering 'Ragged Ass Road', this album contains many excellent songs. There are some fast songs on here, like the hit 'Life is a Highway' and 'Mad Mad World', as well as 'No Regrets', 'Brave and Crazy', and 'Bigger Man', but also some slow ballads like 'The Secret is to Know When to Stop' and 'All the King's Men', but my favorite on the album has always been the haunting and searing 'Get Back Up', a song about a man who has to watch the woman he loves become a victim of pills and alcohol.Tom Cochrane is one of the best examples of a unique Canadian artist. Unfortunately, because of his Canadian status, Tom Cochrane never received the recognition he deserved in the States. Harder than Bryan Adams, Tom Cochrane was a unique Canadian alternative to many of the mainstream bands, combining rock with a taste of folk, country, and even alternative styles. He remains one of my favorite Canadian musicians, and one of my favorite musicians in general. (In regards to the case, which a few people have commented on, the one pictured is actually the original. I purchased the tape originally when it first came out, which featured the same cover as is pictured here. A later release featured the different cover.)"