First: BOUNCE is definitely one of Bon Jovis best albums, but also far away from being the best (which is in my eyes NEW JERSEY).
With BOUNCE Bon Jovi go a few steps back to their hardrock-roots. Some songs (Undivided, Hook me up) are really surisingly heavy, reminding of new metal acts like Creed. Other songs (The distance, Love me back...) are the typical Bon Jovi power ballad stuff with (often too many) string arrangements. Definitely to Bon Jovis "CRUSH-era" belonging are the midtempo songs(Misunderstood, Joey) and the tender and slowtempo ballads (You had me..., All about...).
The up- and midtemposongs are making this album one of their best cds. Richies riffs are catching you almost immediatly youīll find yourself singing along the choruses as fast as at Bon Jovis best times.
What makes this album getting rated only with 7/10 are the substanceless ballads. The Ballads on BOUNCE are some of Bon Jovis weakest. The lyrics are never touching you and the music is somewhat boring makes you wanna skip the songs already after the first chorus.
What Iīam on missing on BOUNCE is some emotional stuff, songs that make you sad or leave you with a smile on your face. The only song thatīs touching me is "Right side of wrong" because itīs bitter end.
So BOUNCE is a real good (hard-) rock-record. Worth buying and only boring when it comes to the slow ballads. And itīs a fairly short record. Itīs not the best the ever made (as I heard many times from other BJ fans)and itīs not that bad as many critics claim. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
I would rank Bounce on place four in my personal Bon Jovi-album-ranking:
1 NEW JERSEY 10/10
2 KEEP THE FAITH 9/10
3 SLIPPERY WHEN WET 8/10
4 BOUNCE 7/10
5 CRUSH 6.5/10
7 THESE DAYS 6/10
8 FAHRENHEIT/BON JOVI 4/10