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"Bounce" Review 20 May 2003
Good, not great

Not as good as the BJ of the 80's

A review by Chris

I'm actually kind of torn over this CD. I got it with a lot of anticipation, but I think I was somewhat let down. That beign said, it's a good album that occasionally has me thinking back to the good old days. The key word is "occasionally." Bounce teases you with some glimpses of the past, as well as some disturbing trends for the future. There were some experiments here, and even though they weren't necessarily bad, let's hope Jon and the boys get back to the basics the next time they go to the drawing board.

1) Undivided - When I first heard it, I thought, "All-for-one lyrics, catchy chorus, heavy guitar intro, must be good, right?" Well I listened to it more, and I've changed my mind. Kind of overwrought, and not really that powerful or unforgettable. Decent opener. (7/10)

2) Everyday - I guess this is another "It's My Life" or "Born to be My Baby" anthem. The only problem is this - the song just isn't that good (at least compared to those), and it's shown on the charts. Unfortunately, the hook just isn't adequate, and the lyrics are kinda weak. They were trying to craft a darker song, but it didn't really work out. Sorry, guys. (5/10)

3) The Distance - One of my favorites on the album. It's pretty heavy with the guitar, and I really like the buildup into the excellent chorus. This is the first one that gets my full stamp of approval. (8/10)

4) Joey - A midtempo ballad that tells a pretty forgettable story. It's kinda catchy, and has some good beats, but the lyrics are missing something special. Again, Jon tries too hard to write something powerful, but it falls flat on its face. I like listening to it, though, so I'll give it a...(7/10)

5) Misunderstood - The second single. It took some time to grow on me, but it's a good pop song. Not heavy, and the lyrics are pretty good. It's something a little different for Bon Jovi, and it works. Again, the problem is that it isn't comparable to previous BJ singles, and this kind of stuff with not make Bon Jovi great again. We're on track 5, and I'm still waiting for that future classic that I can't stop listening to. (7.5/10)

6) All About Lovin' You - Yeah, it's soft, sappy and it doesn't have the passion or the sincerity of the great Jovi ballads that we have gotten spoiled with. Still, this is the only song that has "HIT!" written all over it. That doesn't guarantee success, but cross your fingers. Anyway, to the song. Yet another incarnation of the Bon Jovi pure pop ballad (Always, Thank You For Loving Me, Save the World, I'll Be There for You). People may slam it, but it's got a solid chorus and has that "larger than life" quality that the other songs lack. If Always is such a great song, then why is this not a good song? (8.5/10)

7) Hook Me Up - Weak. Good beats, rockin' all the way, and heavy Richie stuff, but I have no will to sing along. And if I don't want to sing along, you can bet that I don't want to listen to it either. (4/10)

8) Right Side of Wrong - Decent story ballad. The story's corny, and were they trying to come up with another "Dry County," because it certainly didn't work. Did not do it for me. Jon does have some good vocals, and it does have some sing-along qualities. (6/10)

9) Love Me Back to Life - Here we go. A very solid song throughout with strong guitar work as well as a very powerful chorus. You can feel some great energy throughout. A keeper that may go down as one of the best-kept secrets of diehard Bon Jovi fans. (8/10)

10) You Had Me From Hello - I read some reviews of Bounce before it was released, and apparently, some critics thought that this would be a massive hit. Why? Because it's slow and different from other BJ ballads? Well I'm sorry. It's not good enough, and it doesn't move. I'll give it this much - it's relaxing and pleasant to listen to after a long day. (7/10)

11) Bounce - So they wait until the 11th track to bring out the real juice. It's got that stadium anthem feel that everyone loves. The thing is, it's kind of overrated, because everything's relative - the song is easily the best rocker on the album. Not on par with It's My Life though, and unfortunately, that puts it far behind "Prayer" and the other 80's masterpieces. (8/10)

12) Open All Night - A ballad to end? A terrible ballad at that? What is this? Pure trash. Put an end to my misery and turn off the stereo. Well I'm exaggerating, because it like YHMFH, it's pleasant to listen to. Still, it's forgettable, at best. (6/10)

So how does this stack against the heavyweights? Slippery, New Jersey are still at the top, KTF is better, and Crush is slightly better. It's probably on par with These Days, because this has more catchy tunes while TD had much deeper lyrics (I know I have just earned the hatred of the diehards on this site. I can hear it already, "THESE DAYS IS THE BEST!!!!! THIS GUY'S ON CRACK!) Don't get Bounce unless you're a real Bon Jovi fan, and I hope this helps some people who maybe have hopes that are a tad too high.

Rating: 7/10

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