Boston Globe article
|Bon Jovi delivers pop-metal with a predictable punch
Meat-and-potatoes pop-metal - it sounds like an oxymoron, but in Bon Jovi's capable hands the earnest working class meets teased hair and pretty power chords, over and over and over again.
Bon Jovi's show at the Garden Wednesday night, the first in a two-night stand, was a model of heartfelt efficiency. Tuneful rockers alternated with button-pushing power ballads - all built using a secret recipe formulated a quarter century ago. Miraculously, it works just as well in 2008 as the day Jon Bon Jovi wrote "Livin' on a Prayer."
OK, it's not such a big secret. Take a few lighter-worthy guitar riffs, sweeten them with a one-size-fits-all melody, and pump it up with romantic or galvanizing or empowering cliches. Don't burden the process with surprise or invention. Arrange for the handsome, charismatic frontman to stay that way well into his forties and for the band to deliver the material with genuine enthusiasm and real skill. And just keep doing it.
Bon Jovi is touring behind its 11th album, "Lost Highway," a "country" album that's actually a collection of signature anthems that nods to Nashville by way of an occasional banjo or fiddle part. The fiddler - in Bon Jovi's world she's a skinny vixen in thigh-high boots - came along on the tour to lend that hint of a wisp of a suggestion of twang to the new songs.
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