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"These Days" Review 1 January 1996

A review by Michael S. Krcil

Arguably in a dead-heat tie with LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME as the best opener on any album they've released. The point of it is obvious: at the rate the world is going, it's going to hell in a handbasket. In a desperate, yet sardonic prayer, Jon lets loose his emotions. The lyrics begin as an angry cry. Then after the interlude, Jon calms himself down... "I'm gonna try this thing your way." Very real. Very human. However, I can't get over the feeling that I've heard the lead rhythm somewhere else...
Lyrics: 8
Music: 7

To me, this was a new style for BJ. Maybe it was the sitar that did the trick. At any rate, I enjoy this song every time I hear it. My favorite part is when Jon and the others divide their lyrics. Sometimes I feel like singing along with the lead vocal, other times with the chorus. While SFTP isn't their best, it's one of the better ones.
Lyrics: 7.5
Music: 8

I really liked this song when it first came out on the radio. I was coming off a break up of sorts, and, like one of the prior reviews said, it made me realize that life will go on. Most of the females I talk to like this one best. I would rank it 4th or 5th. At any rate, the band always seems to come up with a ballad on each album that makes you think (i.e., ALWAYS, I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU, etc.). This one is no exception.
Lyrics: 9
Music: 7

Undeniably the best song on the album, and arguably their best song ever. David Bryan's piano intro makes a chill run down my spine every time I hear it. I'd like that piano intro on a track of its own. It's both sad and inspirational, the best combo one can ask for in today's musical society. The song itself is a superior mix of loss, hopelessness, and determination, while, once again, implying that life continues on its fateful course. I want an encore.
Lyrics: 9.8
Music: 10

While I am one of the more honest men in the world, I actually like this idea of lying. A guy doesn't like to hear straight out that their not loved by the same woman they love. Guys, this is definately a song to play very softly while you and your special someone are chatting. Maybe it will act in a subliminal fashion. Anyway, the lyrics are a little shaky at the beginning, but they get better as the song goes. The music flows from the softer main melody into a smooth transition with the "It's a bitch..." lick; not an easy accomplishment.
Lyrics: 7
Music: 9

Reminiscent of their SLIPPERY days, this jam, though not very deep in thought, is entertaining. I must admit I don't quite know all the lyrics to it yet, but I'm getting there. I agree that this song sounds a little like FEAR, but that's not a bad thing at all (I'm sorry I can't review KTF, also). Damned is a song that a man just about ready to give up on a relationship, but very reluctantly. Good song for desperate hearts.
Lyrics: 6
Music: 7

When I first saw the title, I said, "What the hell?" Long titles for songs don't appeal to me. When I heard it, I was blown away. This song is a work of genius. It sort of tears me apart to say that THESE DAYS is the best song, when this is only three tracks later. It comes a close second. The lyrics are the best. I really like how the refrain is never the same twice. It always changes a little. Of course if you're reading this, you probably know that. The music is virtually flawless. Unfortunately, the interlude doesn't flow as gracefully into the song as in LIE TO ME. It gets back to the original tune pretty well though.
Lyrics: 10
Music: 9.3

Number 3 on my list of favorites for this album. The lyrics, once again make the song. A little synthesizing work at the beginning didn't hurt either. Sometimes it has the same effect on me as the beginning of THESE DAYS. This one, though, was not as nice to me during my emotional strife as THIS AIN'T A LOVE SONG. Afterward, it didn't hurt. I just want to know how they sing these ballads and sound so damned sincere! I guess all the guys go through this.
Lyrics: 9
Music: 9

When I first heard this song, the first thing to come into my mind was "Aerosmith". Even the most casual listener must admit that this song is very Tyler-esque. However, this song still maintains a high standing with me. It doesn't let up at any point (except, of course, for the fade out). Strong from top to bottom with catchy lyrics.
Lyrics: 7.5
Music: 7.5

I don't want to write a review for this article. Anybody whose liked this so far may not anymore. It's not going to be bad, but it's not going to be good. STBI is definitely an "I'm in the mood for it" tune. The beginning is great. The lyrics symbolize a man in doubt about everything. I was turned off to it as soon as I realized that the "If I don't believe in..." bit was going to be the end of the song, no more verses like the first two, I couldn't believe it. Then came the interlude. I must have been in a "not in the mood for it" mode. I don't like the constant feedback-like effect that overlaps the bass solo. Oh, well. Different people, different tastes. I'll still listen to it.
Lyrics: 5
Music: 6

I can't remember whose review it was, but he/she was disappointed at the lack of depth in the words. Well, in defense of BJ, I must say, look at the title. He is telling a certain someone, flat out, that he'll do anything. While the premiss lacks a certain kind of originality, I really like songs like that. The tune isn't even pensive; on the contrary it's rather agressive in tempo. I really like the end where Jon's voice sounds like it is echoing in a chasm ("...Grooooooound") followed by the power chord. Very nice effect.
Lyrics: 7
Music: 7

Not a song to put on repeat. While the simplicity of both music and lyrics makes for a great ending/warm-down tune, its repetitivness is its flaw. It's a nice song, to be sure. I think the harmony that Jon and Richie have developed (if that is indeed who harmonizes with Jon) is a very good idea, and I'd like to hear more of it in subsequent albums.
Lyrics: 6
Music: 6

Good mix of ballads and upbeat tunes. I think the group has finally settled into a cycle of the types of songs they put on an album. THESE DAYS, in my opinion, beats NEW JERSEY as their best album (I can't very well say CROSS ROAD because that is their best collection of songs; its not fair). I still want to hear more harmony, although I doubt anything will come close to that which was portrayed in PRAYER '94. If the Big Men themselves read this, I'm challenging you to top it.


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