Bouncing Back With Authority
Full of Emotion and Power
Bounce is Bon Jovi's 8th studio album and also one of their best. From the beginning chords of "Undivided" I could tell I was in for one hell of a ride. I must say this album surprised me. I figured it would be more in the Crush vein. It's not that I didn't enjoy Crush, it was just that it was different than what I expected after hearing "It's My Life". In my opinion, Crush seemed to be tailored more for Top 40 radio than their two previous albums, Keep The Faith and These Days. After hearing that Luke Ebbin was also producing Bounce, I expected some more songs like "Say It Isn't So" and "Save The World". Although they both had a different sound from previous albums, which is a good thing, they failed to grab me personally. I was hoping for an album more along the lines of Keep The Faith and I must say they delivered.
1. Undivided-My first thought upon putting the cd in my stereo and pressing play was "OMG...THIS is what I'm talking about." Richie's heavy guitar is amazing here. The theme of this song is something I believe everyone in this country can relate to. After everything the band did in the last year after the attacks, I feel they HAD to write a song about the disaster. "Where we once were divided, now we stand united, we stand as one undivided" says it all and I think that is one of the best lyrics the guys have ever written. Probably the only song by Bon Jovi that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it and that’s a good thing. 10/10
2. Everyday-Although at first I thought this sounded too much like "It's My Life", it has since begun to have it's own identity separate from that song and has grown on me quite a bit. The first single and once again, the lyrics are superb with the two verses depicting how I feel in my life at the moment. Richie's Talkbox makes another appearance, neatly underscoring Jon's words here. I have only one complaint: TOO SHORT!!! 9/10
3. The Distance-One word: Imagery. The images that the lyrics depict in this song are the main reason I love this one so much. I believe there are also many different ways one can interpret them. The guys have said that this song was also partly influenced by 9/11 so the lyrics, "In my mind, I see your red dress and my arms are reaching through the night" could be taken, as someone trying to communicate with a lost loved one on the other side. Musically, it reminds me of Creed’s “My Sacrifice” The theme of this song is a universal one. Never give up, keep pushing onward even when it is difficult to do so. Reminds me a little of "Next 100 Years" from Crush with the orchestra intertwined in the song. Also, Dave is featured here, which is good to hear. 10/10
4. Joey-This one is heavily influenced by Elton John's "Levon". Here, the band returns to the storytelling aspect of songwriting last seen on These Days. Sadly, this is not the same Joey last heard from in "Wild In The Streets". I think it would have been nice to see a reference made back to that great song but the lyrics, about someone who befriends a man with a mental disability are terrific and more than make up for that. Jon's songwriting is amazing and he really allows the listener to visualize what is happening as the story of Joey's life unfolds. Wonder if this song was influenced by any of the Special Olympics athletes that Jon has met over the years? Nice piano work by Dave. 9/10
5. Misunderstood-One of my favorites. It reminds me of "Janie" from Jon's Destination Anywhere album. This is a song for any guy that’s ever been in the doghouse and is not quite sure what to say or do to get out. The chorus is extremely catchy; one can't help but sing along. What Jon is saying here is that although he probably went about things the wrong way his intentions were good. I believe almost any guy that reads this can relate to that. Supposedly, this is going to be the second single. 10/10
6. All About Loving You-No Bon Jovi album would be complete without a big ballad and on Bounce this is it. Reminds me of a cross between Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" and "What It Takes", which are both amazing songs in my opinion. Much better than "Thank You" on Crush, the lyrics are sung with real emotion which I feel was missing on the ballads of the last album. Incredible chorus, one for the romantics. 9/10
7. Hook Me Up-VERY Metallica-esqe. Bon Jovi haven't done this hard of a song for at least seven years. The lyrics are haunting here. The story revolves around a solider that is trapped behind enemy lines and can only communicate to the outside world via a beat up ham radio. The echo behind Jon's lyrics is extremely cool and adds a lot to the song and once again, Richie's guitar work is rough, reminds me of something you might hear on a Metallica album which is no bad thing. The ending leaves things open to interpretation with static effects, giving the listener the feeling that the man’s pleas have gone in vain. Awesome song to open the tour with this time around. 10/10
8. Right Side Of Wrong-For some reason, Jon has always felt some sort of kinship to the Wild West. Back in the 80’s the band had a huge hit with “Wanted Dead Or Alive” and the early 90’s saw Jon writing the soundtrack to Young Guns 2. He had a #1 hit with the title track “Blaze Of Glory.” This song, although on Bounce, has the feel of that soundtrack. Like on “Joey”, we have returned to storytelling territory. This was written entirely by Jon alone and it shows. Here, he tells of the obstacles facing the father of a family of six and what he must do to make sure his family does not go hungry. This is quite the counterpart to track four. Dave is again at his best on the piano and Richie has his longest solo on the album. I think the title is genius because although the characters in the story are doing the wrong thing, they are doing it for all the right reasons. 9/10
9. Love Me Back To Life-One might expect a ballad with a title like this but a ballad this is not. Everyone can relate to being broken hearted and needing someone to mend their heart back together. Richie’s Talkbox adds quite a lot to this song also. The lyrics are top form and remind me of “If That’s What It Takes” from the These Days album. The track is guitar influenced with The King Of Swing getting quite a few great licks in. One of the best on the album and quite possibly the one I relate to most at the moment. 10/10
10. You Had Me From Hello-Inspired by the line in the movie “Jerry Maguire” this is mostly an acoustic number with wedding song lyrics. “The first time I saw you it felt like coming home, if I’ve never told you, I just want you to know, that you had me from hello” Great line, one which I hope I can say to someone someday. The drums kicking in halfway through the song is a great touch as well. 8/10
11. Bounce-In my opinion, the title track is the best song on the album. In fact it is in my top three Bon Jovi songs of all time, following only “Living On A Prayer” and “Always”. I was almost knocked off my chair after hearing it for the first time. This is why we listen to Bon Jovi. This will surely become a concert staple for many years to come and a HUGE hit when released as a single. The lyrics are awesome, referring to how the country has bounced back after the attacks and also to the resiliency of the band. With every new album, there are always nay Sayers ready to knock them down but every time they seem to come through, quietly silencing every one of them. This song has also become my anthem replacing “It’s My Life.” You can’t allow things to get you down, stand tall and fight for what you believe in. Just continue to bounce back. 10/10
12. Open All Night-This one, the third ballad on the album, was inspired by Jon’s nine episode stint on Ally McBeal. Reminiscent of the demo “Bitter Wine” the lyrics tell the story of how if Ally were ready, Jon’s character Victor would have always been there for her. In essence, his arms would have been “open all night”. Amazing lyrics once again and another one I can really relate to right now. 9/10
Overall this is an incredible album. I recommend it to anyone even non Jovi fans. I believe it has something for everyone and if you a fan of rock music in any way shape or form you will find something to like here. I, foe one, cannot stop listening to it.