I like to call this the under-appreciated album of the 8. There are so many things on this album that are superior to the other albums, but for some reason, people (with the exception of die-hard fans who see this album’s true artistic relevance) were not receptive to it. Or at least as receptive to it as they should have been, given it’s quality. I am proud to call this my favorite Bon Jovi cd in my collection.
“Hey God” – this is one of those songs that somebody out there can relate to. We’ve all had struggles and we all realize that other people have it worse. This cry out to God: “I know how busy you must be, but Hey God…do you ever think about me?” is something I’m sure a lot of people have felt in their lifetime. The song is fast paced to show frustration and anger, and it’s very well done. A great opening song. 9/10
“Something For The Pain” – there is something about this song, and I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but something that makes this song real enjoyable to sing along to. Really the words are quite depressing, but the song’s tempo is almost…cheerful. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. 10/10
“This Ain’t A Love Song” – ah, a power ballad if there ever was one. This song is so sad, you almost feel as if Jon wants to cry as he sings the lyrics. I don’t really know where to begin on this song, so I’ll just say 10/10.
“These Days” – the title track of the cd, in true Bon Jovi fashion, tells mini-stories throughout the course of the song. At 6:26, you certainly don’t feel like the song is that long at all. The chorus has lines in it that I feel, sum up society well. Lyrics like “These days are fast, nothing lasts – in this graceless age,” are lines that can sometimes be very definitive of life. 10/10
“Lie To Me” – another installment in the Tommy and Gina saga, this “episode” shows their struggles. A depressing song, the guys have once again found the right way to tell a story and really make you feel it. It can be a little too slow, but if for nothing else, the song is great for one of my favorite lyrics – “It’s a bitch, but life’s a roller coaster ride, the ups and downs will make you scream sometimes.” 9/10
“Damned” – I would have to venture to say that this is my favorite song on the album. Its tempo is enjoyable, and the topic isn’t one that has been done in the way Bon Jovi did it. When bands talk about adultery, they don’t normally (to my knowledge, anyhow) take on the role as the one the person is cheating with. It’s very interesting to me that the song’s story is “told” through the eyes and words of the male mistress. Of course I’m giving this song a 10/10.
“My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms” – the only way that seems fitting for me to describe this song is a kind-of-on-the-brink-of-suicide-wallowing-in-one’s-own-depression-like song. This song really does change my mood, sometimes for the worse. (sometimes I need a song like this though…who doesn’t?) 9/10
“(It’s Hard) Letting You Go” – on every cd, I have come to find, there is a track that you don’t particularly dislike, but there is no burning desire to turn it on. On this album, this is the song for me. (I’ve found that in Bon Jovi’s case, track 8 is like that for me – same goes for “Crush” and “New Jersey”) Don’t get me wrong, I do like and appreciate this song. But something about it doesn’t grab me the way “Damned” or “Something For The Pain” does. 8/10
“Hearts Breaking Even” – this is a great song. The melody is just great and once again, it contains one of my favorite classic lines “Hey I cried, yea I lied, hell I almost died.” I can just picture this one being played in a bar during a slower moment. This song is great; I enjoy it highly. 10/10
“Something To Believe In” – this is one song by Bon Jovi (and believe you me, there aren’t a lot of these) that I just cannot stand. I know that the lyrics have a message and have something to say, but just the way in which the message is presented…I can’t stand to keep it on. Again, I value it, but I do not enjoy it. 5/10
“If That’s What It Takes” – I like this song. I would put it on the same line as “Hearts Breaking Even.” (I actually listen to them together…listen to one, gotta hear the other) I guess this is because they are on the same keel, same tempo. And it’s also got that classic line thing happening for me again (for all those who care, it’s “I played the part of a broken heart up on a shelf, I played that part so lonely and so well.”) This song is just…good. 10/10
“Diamond Ring” – this song reminds me of a lullaby. Is that why it sounds so familiar to me? (if someone knows why it is so reminiscent of a song or lullaby, please tell me). It’s a short, nice little way to end the album, with nothing but an acoustic guitar and some percussion in the background. Jon’s voice sounds great. 9/10