These Days - Amazing!!!
The best album ever
When I first listened to this album, I must admit I wasn't too impressesd. I felt it was a very depressing, dismal album. I therefore didn't listen to it for a while and concentrated on the more upbeat Bon Jovi albums, that seemed to characterise them more. However, after reading most of the reviews on this site, I decided to listen to the album a bit more objectively and give it another go.
What I found was an amazing piece of work by Bon Jovi, it was sheer magic. This album has such a rawness about it, combined with what seems like Jon's innermost feelings - to listen to it is a pleasure. Jon's voice has never been better and the album is just perfect. It has such a good mixture of darker lyrics combined with an upbeat kind of tone, making the album somehow reflect hope in darker times. All of the songs are special in their own way, but here's how I would rate them:
1. Hey God - A great song and the lyrics are brilliant. I think Jon touches on what everyone goes through; when times are tough you do wonder where God is and if He knows you exist. 9/10
2. Something for the pain - I love this song! The lyrics are great and the music is catchy, the intro is so cool. I also like how it's positive in a roundabout sort of way. 10/10
3. This ain't a love song - One of my favourites on the album. Jon's voice is beautiful and seems to be dripping with pain. Anyone who has lost a love can relate to this song, the denial you go through and the memory of better times. Brilliant. 10/10
4. These Days - WOW!! An amazing song, this is a masterpiece. It shows a great glimpse of society today and it is so heartfelt. The piano is brilliat and Jon's voice amazing. It is a great title track. 10/10
5. Lie to me - This is so beautiful and I love the lyrics, again very much about denial; when you know something is wrong, but you don't want to face reality. 10/10
6. Damned - Great song. I din't get it at first but after listening again I loved it. I think it's well placed on the album, after the slowness of Lie to me you need something a bit raunchier. I just wonder if it's biographical... 10/10
7. My Guitar.. - I never really liked this one, but I've come to appreciate it. I like the build-up in it, but I still think it's quite depressing. 8/10
8. It's hard letting.. - This is beautiful. Although it can be said that it's more depressing than the previous song, I think the theme is something I can relate to more. It's so poetic and the instruments are all so subtle, beautiful! 10/10
9. Heart's breaking even - Good song, a little more upbeat with a good strong rhythm. Very easy to relate to, sometimes you just have to say goodbye. 10/10
10. Something to believe in - Quite a soul-searching number, I really like the theme. Good song 9/10
11. If that's what it takes - Good song with a nice strong beat. A nice positive, fighting song. 10/10
12. Diamond Ring - I really don't like this song. If I ever met someone like that, I'd call the police.. potential stalker!! However, I do find myself singing along to it.. 7/10
13. All I want - Not bad. Good beat, but the lyrics aren't really that meaningful. 8/10
14. Bitter wine - My second favourite, I really love this song. The lyrics are beautiful and so poignant. It is a great track to end the album with. It's a shame though it was a bonus track, no-one should be denied this song. 10/10
Well, that's my review. Overall I would give this album a 10. I think this one is highly underrated, which is such a shame. I think this album has all the makings of a true classic. I haven't liked Bon Jovi for long (I have loved Queen nearly all my life..) but if I had my time over this would have been the album I would have started to take notice. They are so much maturer than in their earlier work (although I love that too!) and seem so at peace with themselves. So as a last bit of advice, don't believe the critics too much, just listen for yourself and enjoy! Believe me you will be doing yourself a great injustice if you don't end up thinking, like me, that this has to be THE best Bon Jovi album!!!!