Tired of lip-syncing, take heart...Bon Jovi is back
Good time rock and roll is here again
It’s been a while since Bon Jovi’s last album – the summer of 1995 to be exact. While Jon Bon Jovi, (Destination Anywhere), and Ritchie Sambora, (Undiscovered Soul), have produced quality solo efforts, the boys of summer are back again in 2000 with their newest album, Crush. Die hard fans of the band, and that seems to be the type that Bon Jovi caters to, will enjoy the band’s newest efforts. While trends come and go in modern music, Bon Jovi retains their magical appeal and again demonstrate why they have been a long staying worldwide power on the rock scene for nearly twenty years. While the band will likely never regain its mystique of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Crush offers several songs that should be certifiable hits. Insightful lyrics, great acoustics, and that same driving beat that personify Bon Jovi pervade the album.
The album appropriately begins with “It’s My Life” – a sort of “Living on a Prayer” fifteen years after the fact. Here, the kids from New Jersey have grown up and indulge in a semi-self-evaluation in the context of modern music while simultaneously reinforcing the tough guy “stick to your guns” attitude. With Sambora jamming on the mouth guitar, a la Peter Framptom, the band launches into their passionate take on life. “It’s My Life” intimates the urgency of living one’s life to the fullest, the necessity of being true to yourself, and perhaps most importantly, being satisfied with who you are. It’s seems as if the members of Bon Jovi have come full circle in accepting who they are and what they stand for and hope their message reaches the ears of others. In fact, this mantra seems to charge the album on songs such as “Save the World” and “Just Older” among others. In a time where music tends to be either teeny bop or angst ridden, the band provides a well needed attitude ajustment. “It’s My Life” also throws out some kudos to the long-standing, and sometimes long-suffering Bon Jovi fans, “This is for the ones who stood their ground/For Tommy and Gina who never backed down.” It’s impossible not to like a song with this sort of message. Custom made for a live concert show, if this song doesn’t get your blood pumping, nothing will.
Of course, the Bon Jovi ballad, “Thank You for Loving Me,” is vintage Bon Jovi. Echoes of “I’ll Be There For You” and “Always” immediately come to mind. It’s hard to imagine a song that captures a more endearing expression of love. Expect to hear this one at weddings for years to come.
Other songs on Crush include “I Got the Girl”, a Tom Petty-like tune with a driving, dancing beat. “Save the World” is a beautiful, touching song commenting on the affect that each person can have on the world and ends with Bon Jovi’s wailings reminiscent of Steve Tyler in Aerosmith’s “What It Takes”. “Captain Crash " the Beauty Queen from Mars” gets the vote for the most original Bon Jovi title, but the song is a feel-good old school, sing along song. “Just Older” is the perfect song for the aging but still rocking Bon Jovi fans, “Well, I look in the mirror/I don't hate what I see.”
Some of the songs on the album such as “Mystery Train” run too long and seem forced. Similarly, “Say It Isn’t So” is a Beatles experiment gone bad, but overall the album is well worth its wait. Imagine spending this hot summer with the top down, the radio turned up, and Bon Jovi’s Crush filling the air……..