A Very Positive Surprise!
Not better than "These Days", but still one of the best Bon Jovi records
Well well. A relief. I liked "These Days" a lot. I liked "Destination Anywhere". I was really discouraged by all negative reviews "Crush" has been getting in the months prior to its release. People saying BJ are trying to make another "Slippery" and so on. Positive rock. I liked "These Days" because it was NOT positive. It was a sign BJ are actually growing in musical sense. KTF, TD, DA all represent a very decent rate of growth - people indicated "Crush" would make an end to this. Well, they were wrong.
Some songs are definitely trying to relate back to "Slippery" era. But then again, "These Days" also had such, heavier " more positive songs. The ones I did not like ;) "Crush" has more such songs than "These Days", but it also has many songs that are something completely new for Bon Jovi.
You can listen to "Crush" as a positive rock album or you can listen to it as a very very nostalgic " thoughtful record. Depends on which tracks you put on your playlist. "Crush" is not a homogeneous record.
I won't do a track by track review, I will try to categorize songs into three categories instead.
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
I rarely like all songs from certain album, and "Crush" is no exception. Some of the songs are just not good in my opinion (naturally, people will disagree) - TWO STORY TOWN, ONE WILD NIGHT and I COULD MAKE A LIVING OUT OF LOVING YOU are song I just cannot get to like.
GOOD, BUT NOT SPECIAL
Most of the songs fit in here, which makes "Crush" a very good album in general. IT'S MY LIFE is a song for the masses, Oasis-like NEXT 100 YEARS is a song most BJ fans should like a lot, same goes for JUST OLDER - this song is a return to "Slippery"/"New Jersey" era and people will probably like it. I GOT THE GIRL is kind of weird, glam rockish. MYSTERY TRAIN and CAPTAIN CRUSH " THE BEAUTY QUEEN FROM MARS are not special at all, they lack "certain something", but they're still good songs.
These songs are really special and some of them are completely new stuff from Bon Jovi. They all have something in common - they remind me of certain songs or entire albums from other bands and artists I really like. SAY IT ISN'T SO reminds me of Semisonic's 1998 "Feeling Strangely Fine" album with it's mid-tempo and still very positive songs. SAVE THE WORLD is not that different from previous BJ albums, but it's still somehow special, it stands out, esp. the intro to the song is truly amazing ;) The harmonic and nostalgic atmosphere of this song reminds me the atmosphere of Queen's 1995 "Made in Heaven" album... Ok, THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME reminds me of no other that Bon Jovi ;) Bon Jovi Ballads: The Next Generation. It's one of the best songs on this record and releasing it as a single isn't a bad idea at all.
And finally, my definite favourite off "Crush" - SHE'S A MYSTERY. This song is a big surprise for me, not a type of a song I'd expect from Bon Jovi. It's something completely new from this band. Peaceful and dreamy songs with thoughtful lyrics. Very much like Natalie Merchant's 1998 "Ophelia" album, which I liked a lot. With this song, Bon Jovi might have won a fan back...