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Bon Jovi's latest CD missing a staple 21 June 2007


BON JOVI, "Lost Highway" (Island Records) **

Best track: "Stranger," with LeAnn Rimes.

It arrived with a watermark and three warnings -- one written in red, one written in blue, one written in brown. All three warnings offered variations of the same message.

Copy, transmit or attempt to distribute "Lost Highway" and Paulie Walnuts will snap your legs.

At first I'm spooked, wondering whether I should risk transferring these 12 Bon Jovi songs to my iPod. Then I listened to the CD. Now I'm wondering how many of these songs I would want on my iPod.

"Lost Highway" is missing a Bon Jovi staple: a bass-pounding, guitar-driving, feel-it-in-your-chest rock song. There's no "It's My Life," no "Everyday," no "Have a Nice Day." Only two of the 12 songs on the new album are true rock songs. Neither holds a candle to those three aforementioned hits.

The group comes closest with "Summertime," the second song on the CD, a song that waxes nostalgic for the pleasures of summer. It's the type of song you wouldn't be surprised to hear on a Great Adventure or New Jersey tourism commercial. But there's a gap between commercials and commercial, and our bet is this song won't sell.

The collection's other rock song ("We Got It Going On") seems tailor-made for an NFL or NBA highlight video, but it might struggle to stand on its own legs without an accompanying visual element.


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