Well, what can I say? I was so excited when I first heard 'Bounce' was on its way. I had a feeling it would be something very special - and indeed, I was right ...
1/UNDIVIDED: this is a powerful opening track, with strong references to the events of 9/11 - and also Bon Jovi at their heaviest. A truly astounding opener, with a great chorus, highlighted Jon's strong vocals. 5/5
2/EVERYDAY: a brilliant first single. Took a while to grow on me, but now I love it. Very heavy again, with a typical 'it's my life' type vibe. Rock! 4/5
3/THE DISTANCE: someone else mentioned that it reminded them of something from the new Springsteen album, and I would agree, and it's a fantastic song. Nice guitar work and great harmony vocals. 4/5
4/JOEY: Jon said he wanted to write story-telling songs in the manner of Billy Joel or Elton John, and this is it for 'Bounce'. To me, it doesn't really make much sense from a lyrics point of view, as if Jon was writing it for the sake of it, but it's still a marvellous song and the 'Hey Joey' harmony Richie sings above Jon's melody line sends shivers down my spine. Great. 4/5
5/MISUNDERSTOOD: a good, upbeat number, which will probably be a single, according to Jon. Almost perfect pop, but doesn't quite hit the mark. 4/5
6/ALL ABOUT LOVIN' YOU: the token Bon Jovi ballad. Superb. As many have already said, the chorus contains elements of 'Never Say Goodbye', which I see as showing a certain element of respect for their history, rather than a moment of un-originality. Great harmonies again, but, alas, no distinguishable guitar solo. 5/5
7/HOOK ME UP: the first 35 seconds sound like Metallica meets Iron Maiden. A very untypical Bon Jovi song, but very good all the same. Turn up loud. 4/5
8/RIGHT SIDE OF WRONG: this one definitely would not have looked out of place on 'Blaze Of Glory'. It seems to follow a tradition of 'cowboy' songs, such as 'Wanted DOA', 'Stick To Your Guns', etc. I almost had to stop myself humming 'Santa Fe' over the chorus. But that ain't a bad thing. Features a truly fantastic, and nicely underplayed, epic Richie guitar solo. I like. 4/5
9/LOVE ME BACK TO LIFE: the weakest song on the album, but still quite good. Has a similar rhythm to 'The Distance'. It doesn't really have a memorable quality about it, despite having a rocking chorus. Nice use of talk-box in the opening and mid-section with nice chugging, heavy guitars, but again misses the mark. 3.5/5
10/YOU HAD ME FROM HELLO: this sounds very like something from Ricihe's 'Undiscovered Soul'. I feel Richie had a lot of input in this number. A very pretty, acoustic song with nice harmonies. 4/5
11/BOUNCE: the best song on the album. Similar in rhythm to 'It's My Life' from 'Crush'. A relentless, thumping rocker with heavy guitars, thunderous drumming, powerful vocals and effective, extended use of talk-box again. The 'nothing's gonna keep me down' theme is self-explanatory, again referring to the horrific events of 9/11. Impressive backing vocals from Richie. 5/5
12/OPEN ALL NIGHT: inspired by Jon's stint on 'Ally McBeal', this is a nice, low key ending for the album. A great contrast from the rock of the previous 'Bounce', this is a typical Bon Jovi ballad, and nothing more really. Nice chord sequence. 4/5
This is different and more consistent than Crush, and a truly an astounding piece of work from the band. The musicianship is again, faultless and this album shows they still have a lot to offer and will be catapulted back into the rock frontliners! Remarkable!