An Early review of Bounce
I managed to score an early copy of Bon Jovi's new album (after a lot of work). I must say, should I have been stuck waiting until October 8th I would not have been disappointed! For a classic hard rocker and musician like myself, this CD is very pleasing. Unlike alot of other classic 80's bands that have gone the way of adult contemporary/ safe type of CD's lately (read Def Leppard, Mr. Big etc.), Bon Jovi seems to have went back a little ways. Along with combining some new touches, this album reeks of the early 90's scene! And I love it!
Overall it is much heavier than their previous two studio offerings (These Days and Crush). The guitar playing is very prominent and raunchy at times. It's great to hear Richie shredding it again! Richie's vocals are featured in some great melodies and harmonies as well. Jon's vocals sound as good as ever and it seems that the focus is off him a little more on this CD and more on the band as a whole! One criticism is what is up with BJ ending with ballads lately? Back in the good old days they end with tunes live wild in the streets. To me this just kinda leaves the ending wanting more. The title track 'Bounce' is the 2nd to last song on the CD, and it seems like that's where it should have ended. It would make a great cap off to this album. Unfortunately it doesn't. Here's a track by track synopsis:
1)Undivided- Wow! What a great lead off track! Just like 'Lay Your Hands on Me' did for New Jersey, this songs sets you up for what's about to come. The lyrics are about the terror that happened on September 11th. Through the lyrics you can feel the anger of the country yet feel the sorrow of the families of lost loved ones. Just from the first two lines ("That was my brother lost in the rubble/That was my sister lost in the crush") it drags you in. The song has a very heavy feel yet still comes off with a positive outlook for the future and unity of our country.
2)Everyday- The first single off the new CD and rightfully so. This song almost sounds like it came from out takes from Slippery When Wet. If follows perfectly after 'Undivided'. With catchy hooks and yet a great showing of how we should live our lives, this song could easily become a great anthem for today's post 9-11 world!
3)The Distance- I have some mixed feelings about this song. While still Bon Jovi it just feels familiar, like I've heard it somewhere before. It's a different type of song for BJ.
4)Hey Joey- It's been said in press releases that this album would go back to the story telling type of roots BJ became known for and this song is definitely it. With lyrics reminiscent of 'Livin' on a Prayer' you can't help but like this song.
5)Misunderstood- This song also reminds me alot of something else. Not quite as different as 'The Distance', this sounds just seems to scream Matchbox 20.
6)All About Lovin' You- A classic BJ ballad. The lyrics are very heartening. Should be a big hit!
7)Hook Me Up- A very catchy tune! It rocks like classic Bon Jovi. The chorus and some other parts of the song seem kind of Cultish (the band for those not familiar with them).
8)Right Side of Wrong- Perhaps the best Bon Jovi ballad ever! This song combines pretty much everything from other BJ ballads that worked and put it into one definitive ballad! The lyrics have the story feel of 'Never Say Goodbye' with the keyboard orchestration of 'Always'.
9)Love Me Back to Life Decent mid-tempo song with a rockin' bridge! The intro is a little strange as it reminds one of the intro to track #3 but slightly slower with less guitar.
10)You Had Me From Hello- A nice, mostly acoustic ballad. Jon said the lyrics were inspired by his character from Ally McBeal. If you watched the show and listen to the lyrics you'll definitely understand.
11)Bounce- One of the best songs on the album. Very rockin' and catchy! It caps off what 'Undivided' and 'Everyday' start.
12)Open All Night- Piano and vocal ballad. Pretty song in the vein of 'Lie to Me' meets 'Diamond Ring'. As I said earlier, it just doesn't fit for a CD as upbeat as this one's closer. Bounce would definitely have been the perfect closer.
All in all it's a solid CD. Long time fans of Bon Jovi will love it (especially early followers like myself). Most of the songs will work very well live, as anyone who saw the NFL kickoff mini-concert will note. A great effort and definitely in my top three BJ CD's!
Corcoran, New Jersey, Home of the Boys!