Okay well let me get things started here with an album review of my own (no laughing please, this is the ONLY new rock album I have purchased recently). I will review Bon Jovi "These Days".
The new Bon Jovi album is typical of what you'd expect from these New Jersey rockers - no big surprises here. Yet that sound is what keeps them who they are and recognizeable as Bon Jovi, so why bother change it? if the music is quality, then there's no need to conform to the trends of the times. There is an audience for everything, and I doubt Jon has to dye his hair blue to get kids to listen, because the music will speak for itself.
The first song is called "Hey God". This has a good groove and steady rock feel to it that'll make you move but I don't like the message of it, it asks God "why he isn't doing anything to help the world"...and that's all opinionated, as most political songwriting tends to be...it goes against my personal views, but I will not bring my views into it...the song is alright though for the musical content.
SOMETHING FOR THE PAIN
"Something For The Pain" gave the band a pain in the ass trying to write it and rewrite it, and the results were great. I really enjoy this song, as it is a real bar room rocker. It is a lot like "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" from Keep the Faith, and hands clapping type of thing.
THIS AIN'T A LOVESONG:
"This Ain't A Love Song" is a classic example of the typical Bon Jovi ballad......it makes girls swoon and has a beautiful melody and tight harmonies. Watch out that you don't get sick of it though as when you turn on Power 92 and this song is in the top 10, it will OVERKILL... check out the video, the storyline is pretty cool.
"These Days" is in one word - excellent...the lyrics are third person storytelling of people's struggles and how we have to stay positive these days...there's a line in there that I wonder if it applies to Kurt Cobain's suicide .."Don'tcha know that all my heroes died, and I guess I'd rather die then fade away".
LIE TO ME
"Lie To Me" is one of my favourite ballads on the record, it's a nice power ballad with a softer edge and winning harmonies.
"Damned" is funk-driven and hard rocking, it's reminicent of "Keep The Faith" and it talks about sleeping with a married woman...ouch, Jon's personal life could be pretty complicated!
MY GUITAR LIES BLEEDING IN MY ARMS
"My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms" is a cool song. starts off real dreary and slow, kinda sad, then power chords take it over the edge and make it a hot track...awesome tune.
IT'S HARD LETTING YOU GO
"(It's Hard) Letting You Go" is a song from Jon's new movie "Moonlight And Valentino" in which he plays a housepainter who Elizabeth Perkins falls in love with. Whoopi Goldberg, Gwyneth Paltrow (Brad Pitt's girlfriend) and Kathleen Turner are also in it, and one of the guys from "Clueless". It's really slow and laid back, it professes love after the breakup.
HEARTS BREAKING EVEN
"Hearts Breaking Even" is my FAVOURITE song here...classic power ballad but it's SO catchy and strong, and it's not one of those catchy type tunes that you want to shoot down after a while because you're so sick of it, it's got substance.
SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN
"Something To Believe In" is another one of Jon's religious trips which I don't agree with, but it's a different kind of song, lotsa drum action and it explores some new ranges and styles musically for BJ..I don't really care for it though. I usually skip over it.:) (Yes, I ACTUALLY skip over a BJ song, better write this down to prove it later)
IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES
"If That's What It Takes" is a strong song...I guess a lot of this album has strength in it..Jon's voice gets to really shine in this number when he hits some pretty powerful notes..one of the songs they should be most proud of.
"Diamond Ring" is a song that has been kicking around their tickle trunks for so long as they never knew what to do with it for years. They tried to put it on the last couple of albums but it never fit musically. Finally the tune has made it to vinyl. It is very simple and stripped down (the album was previously named "Strip" in the studio because it was so back to it's roots before they named it "These Days") and relys on the powerful bond in the Bon Jovi/Sambora harmonies that have become traditional for this band. A very beautiful catchy song that nicely completes this album.
"These Days" is another perfectly fitting chapter in the story of Bon Jovi.....I expect it to spawn much attention and many hits, and is a great triumph for this popular band.