HAND reviews coming in...
Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day (* * *) Critics who consider Bruce Springsteen the only favorite son of New Jersey tend to discount the rock 'n' roll heart and heft of Bon Jovi, a band with an undeniable gift for hot-wired hooks and choruses. On its ninth studio album, Bon Jovi's anthemic signature emerges in the bile-stabbed title track, the charging Story of My Life and Last Man Standing, a nod to Bob Dylan. Jon Bon Jovi holds his own on the country-flavored duet with Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles, Who Says You Can't Go Home. Though the pulse drags in Welcome to Wherever You Are and elsewhere, Have a Nice Day has a nice way of slapping a crooked grin on the grim state of mainstream rock. —
Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day: C-
The latest Bon Jovi album not only has the distinction of having the most remedial cover art since the Backstreet Boys' Black & Blue album but also the worst hair-metal hangover since, well, the last Bon Jovi album. The title track is loaded with more clichés than a Fred Durst blog entry (sample lyrics: "I'm going to live my life/ Shine like a diamond/ Rolling with the dice"). Meanwhile, knucklehead cuts "Welcome to Wherever You Are" and "Last Man Standing" make the band's cheesy '80s chart-toppers like "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Wanted Dead or Alive" sound like PhD theses. Nice Day? Bad music.