Victoria Advocate article
|Bon Jovi Bouncing Back To the Top
Like fellow New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen, the boys from Bon Jovi have also recorded an album based around their thoughts on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Just as the Boss did, the band was home in Jersey, watching the events unfold on TV and seeing the smoke outside their kitchen windows. As they put it, it means more when you can actually feel the heat.
As the nation recovered and cleaned up the mess, the band retreated to their studio and recorded their thoughts on tape. As the songs poured out, the band realized that the general theme of the album seemed to deal with picking up the pieces and moving on with life. They participated in several benefit concerts to help the community and the victims that lost their life on that terrible day.
Over two dozen songs were recorded and when the final cut was made, "Bounce" seemed to be the only title that fit. Known for their up-tempo music, the band has definitely done their part to help with the healing process. Since their humble beginning, they often caught the blunt of the critic's wrath. Labeled nothing more than a hair band in tight leather pants, the five musicians overcame huge odds to prove they were a force to be reckoned with.
Their third album, "Slippery When Wet," sold over 10 million copies and launched the group to superstar status.
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora are the primary songwriters and cite Billy Joel and Elton John as major influences. They approached the songs for the new project with their idols in mind, wanting to write story songs like these two piano players are famous for. As they have always done, they wrote about the events in their lives and in their city. Unfortunately, the bombing of the World Trade Center happened in their neighborhood. At first they were unsure how their fans would accept their singing about such a horrific event. After all, who wants to remember that terrible day in our past? However, any songwriter worth his salt will not deliberately steer clear of painful subjects. So, the writing began, and soon the album was finished.
Where some artists might take a somber path, Bon Jovi chose to take the high road with their music. As each band member states on the Web site, the album represents where they are right now in their life and career. In fact, each member was asked what they think the music the music of Bon Jovi means to their fans.
Jon answered "three minutes of optimism." Sambora calls it optimistic rock 'n' roll. Drummer Tico Torres thinks their music is positive and fun. And keyboardist David Bryan says it's just good rock 'n' roll.
"Bounce" can mean several things, but the resiliency of a band or our country both fit the picture.
The CD opens with the thunder of Sambora's Gibson Flying V guitar cranked up to 11 and Jon belting out the bitter lyrics of "Undivided." After this blast of sound, they throttle back a bit on "Everyday," but not much. It's a hit single and they know it. Sambora kicks your teeth in on the opening riff of "The Distance," but pauses every few minutes so Jon Boy can slip in some heartfelt lyrics. "Joey" is their idea of the story songs I mentioned, the kind inspired by Elton and Joel. The title track is vintage hair band from start to finish. "Open All Night" is straight off the pages of an Ally McBeal script.
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