Worth the buy, but not their best
I have been a Bon Jovi fan forever, and likely will be forever, I plan to purchase this CD, so get in line.
When I listen to a Bon Jovi CD or new music, I listen to it as a band effort, I size up the songs as potential singles and videos but I usually pay specific attention to Richie's contribution, his songwriting credits, the backing vocals, the riffs, the solos, the types of guitars used, acoustic vs plugged etc. I observe his growth and his effort in their work from year to year.
That is the kind of review you will get here, please understand this from the get-go.
Richie Sambora is awesome both in the studio and in concert, but y'all know that.
When I listened to Bounce, Undivided made me so emotional even after many listens that I am convinced it is one of their best songs ever. The guitar, the lyrics, the energy, the backing vocals, simply put a clear winner on the CD. Their rendition live and in concert can use a little work, in my humble opinion, it does not do the song justice. Undivided is easily the best tribute song to come out of that horrific tragedy in NY. Although a lot of the same can be said about Everyday, they do however give a great rendition of it in concert and although a very short song, it is a surefire hit.
As for the rest of the CD, the ballads (Open All Night, Had Me From Hello, All About Loving You) are ok and nice, but are not their main focus it seems. The epic type songs such as Right Side of Wrong and Joey are good songs, although the certainly not their best, but it has some good lyrics, nice storytelling and gives you an idea of where the boys are at these days. The Distance and Misunderstood miss the mark as key songs on the CD. The guitar work on the Distance is misplaced for the type of song that it is, however it is nevertheless some impressive guitar work.
The Title track Bounce, is a short fun kinda party song that is quite catchy and should have had at least a one minute guitar solo, so is Love me Back to Life, a very familiar Bon Jovi type song. Hook Me Up, is a nice dose of heavy but not nearly as much of a opening song perhaps as One Wild Night or Raise Your Hands is and was while on tour.
Songs are certainly shorter and are without a signature Sambora guitar solo for the most part, for which seems to be replaced by a harder Flying V Riffs-with-keyboard/string arrangement-type contributions and steady licks throughout the song. Bummer for those you hoped for the valve to be opened on Richie solo's.
Richie is however largely present in all songs from a backing vocals perspective, nice for the fans you like the combo of their voices, like I do. Also absent is the sound of his acoustic guitar on this CD.
Make or break tracks on the CD, usually songs 1-5 are less impressive than they were in Crush, where listeners were spoiled with an overall wealth of good songs throughout the CD.
Buy it, good CD, not their best however.
See ya in the front row boys.