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"Bounce" Review 22 October 2002
Nothing's gonna keep 'em down!

A track-by-track review of Bounce

A review by Andrew P

Previously I have reviewed Bon Jovi albums under the pseynodeum "Reginald TealBluebookcasewithplentyofstickers", but for this particular review, I've decided to be a bit more serious.

UNDIVIDED- I love this song. Not only does it verge on the band's old metallic rock style but I feel this song truly shows how good a singer Jon is. The song begins at a pace befitting the mood of the song, peaks during the chorus and, for the final verse, drops tempo to finish as a virtual acoustic number. The lyrics are wonderful as well, and two inparticular stand out: In the chorus "Where we were once divided/Now we stand united", which for me clearly illustraites probably the only positive to be extracted from this oft-mentioned tragedy, and the lyric "I found faith in the songs you silenced" obviously refers to the raft of songs deemed to offensive by many American radio stations in the days immediately following the attack, I think this lyric is wonderful because it sums up people sentiments in one sentence, which, I believe, is one of the great aspects of songwriting, the ability to say so much in such a small space.

EVERYDAY- Another wonderful song, and worthy first single. When I first heard an excerpt of it, it reminded me of "Next 100 Years" but "Everyday's" meleody is far better. Structually, this song's a bit like "It's my Life", but is superior melodically, vocally and lyrically,(which carry the same, never say die, message as "Undivided") although Richie's guitair solo sounds like The Beatles' "Tommorrow Never Knows" but that's nitpicking.

THE DISTANCE- For some reason, I don't like this song. I don't hate it, but there's something that doesn't work for me. Maybe it's the title, or maybe I'm too stupid to figure out the songs' meaning. Having said that, it's probably the only song I'm not quite fond of.

JOEY- I love this song's lyrics, as Jon and Richie paint the tale of a troubled, misguided young boy living in a simple surburban neighbourhood, and how the protaganist urges his friend, Joey, to gain some focus and discipline, and take a hold of his life before it's too late.

MISUNDERSTOOD- Like most people, I know some folks who can relate to the protagonists problems in this song. Musically, it's a nice, easy paced song, but, in my extremely humble opinion, probably not worthy of being the second single ahead of "Undivided"

ALL ABOUT LOVING YOU- I simply adore this song, the way the melody rises in the chorus "I don't wanna sleep tonight/ Dreamin's just a waste of time" is simply glorious! This, in a nutshell, is why I love Bon Jovi, because, their ballads are fantastic, e.g. "Bed of Roses", "Always" "I'll be there for you" etc. I highly reccomend this song.

HOOK ME UP- Initially, I didn't really like this song, probably because the "Hook me up" part before the chorus grated on me a bit. But, a month down the track, it's grown on me. My favourite part is the final four lines of the first two verses "Everyone around the world..." I like it because of the monotone, understated way it's sung, like an upbeat version of "As my guitar lies bleeding in my arms."

RIGHT SIDE OF WRONG- This is a personal favourite of mine. Like "Joey", it's a genuine story-telling song, telling the tale of two unassuming, kind-hearted, average men, who are driven to rob a bank because "A friend of a friend needs a favour/No questions asked//There's not much more to say/Me and the wife/We need the money/We got four kids all hungry/One on the way" The song encompasses the two mens' "Butch and Sundance-style" journey across the border, to completing the job, before, quite rightly, being brought to justice. The melody in the song is awesome, rising in typical Bon Jovi style, altough slightly more reserved than "Bed of Roses". Richie's guitar solo is amazing, it fits the song's "road trip" style perfectly, but contains enough of Richie's trademark guitar wail to make most "Samboraologists" happy. All in all, a classic, which deserves to be held in the same light as "BOR' and "Always"

LOVE ME BACK TO LIFE- I like the song mainly because of Jon's vocals, and this upbeat song is a fantastic follow-up to "RSOW"

YOU HAD ME FROM HELLO- Again, another strong ballad. It's about a man reflecting on how he first met the love of his life and how that memory reinforces his undying love for her. This song's melody is suitably slow, but it's not a sloppy Celine Dion-ish ballad, instead it's a tender, sweet, ballad which should win over most Bon Jovi fans. It's definitely a favourite of mine.

BOUNCE- Before I review this awesome song, allow me a bit of backstory. I'm a devoted Collingwood Magpies fan, and have been for about ten years. This year, they made their first Australian Football League Grand Final in twelve years, played on September 28th. The problem was, "we" were playing the Brisbane Lions, who for our overseas friends, are like the Chicago Bulls in the midst of the "Air Jordan" era. In a word, invincible. No-one gave us a chance, but I took comfort in the song "Bounce" which is about defiance and never giving up. The game itself was fantastic, and we took it up to the Lions for 115 of the 120 minutes, before a Jason Akermanis goal sank our hopes by nine points. I feel "Bounce" reflects the never-say-die spirit we played that day. The song itself rocks! The upbeat tempo means the lyrics can be more simplistic. I love how they navigate around the F word, simply leaving it out and "bouncing" into the chorus.

OPEN ALL NIGHT- After the frenzy of "Bounce", I can see why some people may not like this tender, restrained ballad. But I love it, the chorus is wonderful in it's restraint. In my opinion, it's a wonderful, reflective way to round off the album.

In summary, BOUNCE works because the ballads are strong, and they help give the album a well-rounded feel to it, althoutgh they still know how to rock hard, and the albums upbeat mood is a change from the "doom-and-gloom" albums from some more "popular" bands. It also shows that Bon Jovi have progressed enough to become a geniuine "rock and roll" band instead of some tired old "hair metal" band simply trotting out modernised versions of their old hits, although some may feel the theme of the album is similiar to what they've been saying for the past twenty years. Despite that, this is an album which should please all Bon Jovi fans in some way or another, though it may not garner the same critical acclaim as "Crush"
Thank you very much for reading this.

Rating: 9/10

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