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"New Jersey" Review 13 April 2003
Greatest Bon Jovi album of all time

Slightly better than even Slippery

A review by Chris

When New Jersey came out, it was in the shadow of Slippery, but it turns out that it is even better than its predecessor. Livin' on a Prayer and You Give Love a Bad Name are the greatest and catchiest Bon Jovi songs ever, but this album more impressive overall. I am convinced that it would have moved more albums if they had released the stunner Wild is the Wind instead of Living in Sin. Anyway, on to the song-by-song review.

1. Lay Your Hands on Me - Nothing fancy here, just pure straight up energy and an infectious chorus that you can't help but sing along to. You gotta see the video as it captures a live Jon at his best. A perfect opener. (9.5/10)

2. Bad Medicine - I personally don't like it that much, but other people must think it's brilliant because it hit #1. The lyrics and melody are starting to grow on me, but this is no You Give Love a Bad Name. (7.5/10)

3. Born to Be My Baby - Now this is more like it. Even though it's predictable and arguably unorignal, this is definitely in the same class as Prayer. The band uses that whole working class "up against the world attitude" to its favor yet again. Absolute adrenaline pumper and irresistible fist pumping chorus. Perfect. (10/10)

4. Living In Sin - Not a bad song, but just not catchy enough and doesn't hold a candle to the greats. I like the passion and heartfelt lyrics, but it is still a notch below. (8/10)

5. Blood on Blood - An absolute masterpiece. A change of pace lyrically with flawless storytelling about friendship and loyalty. Not to mention that it's an amazing rocker with an extremely catchy chorus. This could be their best song ever. (11/10)

6. Homebound Train - Lots of energy and great guitar work by Richie. Still as a rocker not quite at the same level as tracks 3 and 5. A great song though with a great renegade feel. (8/10)

7. Wild is the Wind - Absolutely amazing. Even though some might argue that Always and Bed of Roses are Bon Jovi's best love songs, this one has the conflict and energy that are just unmatched. Flawless combination of Jon's voice and Richie's guitar. Simply exquisite. (10/10)

8. Ride Cowboy Ride - Very short and played very low, but a good song nonetheless about - you got it - cowboys. Not much to say other than it leads very well into the next great song on this album. (8/10)

9. Stick to Your Guns - Wow again. Great hard rock intro and then excellent guitar solo. "So you wanna be a cowboy..." Great, catchy, and excellent message to keep on going no matter who doubts you. (10/10)

10. I'll Be There For You - This took some time to grow on me, but now I would say that this is an utter masterpiece. Great emotion and I really like the twangy guitar. The middle bridges are absolutely amazing and full of emotion. (10/10)

11. 99 in the Shade - A fun rocking track about summer in Jersey. Not one that I would just listen to, but it's a nice breath of fresh air from all of the hard hitters that came before it. A great song for a little freeway singalong. (8.5/10)

12. Love For Sale - Very different from everything else on this album, but that doesn't mean it's bad. A funny little track with a humorous conversation between Mr. Bon Jovi and Mr. Heather Locklear. Good stuff. (8/10)

I'd have to agree with everyone who says that this is the best album that BJ ever made. I used to think Slippery was the best, but that was just because I like a few songs so much. KTF and These Days were great in their own way, and the rest have their good songs as well, but I think it's a contest between Slippery and New Jersey. Again, Prayer and Bad Name are absolutely awesome, but New Jersey just has more larger than life songs that keep you singing along. It may not be the most original piece of work ever, but it basically took Slippery and made it even better.

Rating: 10/10

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