Jovitalk - Bon Jovi Fan Community
Home Register Members FAQ Mark Forums Read
 

7800 Review: Young and wired, set to explode in the heat

General BJ Discussion


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-15-2007, 03:49 AM
Captain Walrus's Avatar
Captain Walrus Captain Walrus is offline
Moderator
Tokyo Road
 
Join Date: 03 Aug 2002
Location: West Sussex, UK
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 11,394
Default 7800 Review: Young and wired, set to explode in the heat

This is my review for 7800 Fahrenheit. I think it's going to turn out even longer than the first ... even greater apologies for that, but even greater thanks if you do read all of it! Again, I'm going to split it up into seperate posts - one for an overview, one for each song, then one for a conclusion - in order to make it more manageable. Comments and thoughts are welcome, I'm hoping these might spark off some kind of debate or discussion or something

OVERVIEW:

Barely a year after the release of Bon Jovi’s debut album came the follow up, 7800 Fahrenheit, although it was clear from the album that it was a year that had very much taken its toll on the members of the band. A year of near constant touring in support slots for various bands, and the effects that that had on the band members’ relationships would be the focus here.

Musically, the album adopted the same basic template as its predecessor: a metal sound welded to blatant pop sensibilities and melodic, anthemic songwriting; in the vein of Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen. However, it was not an album which stuck rigidly to this template; instead it took it as a starting point and expanded its sound from there. The wild, potential trainwreck instrumentation of the first album was reigned in slightly, as the songwriting became more cohesive; and the songs began to sound more stronger as a whole and more complete, rather than just featuring flashy playing for its own sake; although it could be argued that this caused it to lose something of the sheer adrenaline rush that the debut provided. The effect of this is that Richie’s guitar is a bit more toned down; with riffs and chord structures being more common than extended licks. The pop metal formula of the debut was also not strictly adhered to: this album is the sound of a band experimenting with its own identity; and as such we hear hard rock songs with huge riffs; synth driven power balladry; songs with more of an attitude and laid back groove than previously; and dark synth pop metal.

Lyrically the album is a marked improvement on the debut; with the songs featuring not only more developed, thought out and confident (with more songs being written by Jon alone, and Dave and Tico taking a greater writing role than they ever would again) lyrics; but also a sense of being more wordly and informed. Thematically the album goes down a few roads; the main one seeming to be that the kids from the streets of New Jersey who recorded the debut album have been thrust, unprepared, onto the world stage, and are finding out that it’s not all they dreamed it would be. This disillusionment seeps through the entire album; and while I’m not saying that the entire album is based on being on the road, it is possible to interpret a lot of the songs in that way; especially when you consider that the only artwork inside the booklet is a collage of pictures from the road. Tying in with this is the theme of love going wrong: Jon and Dorothea had split up prior to the album’s release, on account of the pressure the touring put on their relationship; and it seems as though the other band members were going through similar troubles.

Stylistically, the album seems to take its cues from the dual images of fire/heat and offensive weaponry. The title refers to the melting point of rock; and this imagery is present in a number of songs; as well as the album artwork (the front cover appears to show Jon with his face in shadow and his hair becoming flames; while the back cover shows the band looking very glam indeed with flames around them, and similarly all of their hair seeming to meld into the fire … whether this has any deeper symbolic meaning; or if someone just thought of combining the band and fire I don’t know). Almost all the songs also contain a reference to an offensive weapon of some kind, normally either guns or bombs; giving the album an air of aggression.

By and large, this album holds the dubious position of being regarded as the band’s worst by both the band and the fans. This is probably based mainly on three things: the production; the prevalence of synths; and the fact that the songwriting wasn’t as strong as it would be on late albums. The production; handled on this album solely by Lance Quinn, who co-produced the debut with Tony Bongiovi; is very much in the “love it or hate it” mould: it is raw, heavy and unpolished; with each instrument sounding particularly forceful and vying for the listeners attention. To some this appeals, to others it annoys. The vocals are also subject to the recording: although Jon’s vocals have matured (particularly noticeable in his decision to ditch the falsetto from the first album) and gained greater emotional weight; the recording of the backing vocals means that they often drift and are robbed of any real impact. Also, the synthesiser is very prominent on this album, being the main driving force behind some songs; which has the effect of dating the album firmly in the 1980s.
__________________


Sometimes you can just lay down
You can play the game
You can take the cards that they deal ya
And you can just pretend it's all over
BUT NOT ME!!!
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old 03-15-2007, 01:58 PM
Captain Walrus's Avatar
Captain Walrus Captain Walrus is offline
Moderator
Tokyo Road
 
Join Date: 03 Aug 2002
Location: West Sussex, UK
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 11,394
Default

In & Out Of Love – The album starts quietly with a repeated shout of the songs title, getting louder until a drum fill ushers in a swaggering hard rock riff. The song as a whole is an immediate departure from the first album; toning the synths down to a supporting role for the chorus, emphasising the riff and the bass, slowing things down a bit, and just generally coming across with more of an AC/DC style groove than they had before. Lyrically it pretty obviously relates to being on the road; and as such the title could take one of two meaning: either being in and out of love with that lifestyle; or with the people that they knew before and meet along the way. A bomb reference (“Young and wired / set to explode in the heat”) and a fire reference (“You’ve been burned / baby lessons learned”) help to set up two of the dominant themes for the rest of the album. The conversational interludes, while a bit strange and random, help to give the song character, and would be a semi-recurring theme later in their career, especially bookending demo recordings. All in all, this is a solid hard rock opener which manages to provide an effective bridge from one album to the next.

3+/5
__________________


Sometimes you can just lay down
You can play the game
You can take the cards that they deal ya
And you can just pretend it's all over
BUT NOT ME!!!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-15-2007, 02:10 PM
Captain Walrus's Avatar
Captain Walrus Captain Walrus is offline
Moderator
Tokyo Road
 
Join Date: 03 Aug 2002
Location: West Sussex, UK
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 11,394
Default

Price Of Love – A building drum roll introduces a wildly exciting riff, which is especially effective for only appearing at the very beginning and end of the song. The main bulk of the song alternates between restrained guitar and synthesized “strings” plucking during the verses; and slightly more pedestrian riffing in the prechorus and chorus; with a very atmospheric breakdown and guitar solo; and a repeat of the intro riff in the outro bringing the song around full circle. Lyrically it stands head and shoulders above anything on the debut. Another reference to offensive weaponry is found here: “And you’re left holding the knife”. Also carries on the theme of disillusionment, this time with the mythical perfection of love. This song displays a newfound depth in terms of Jon’s more mature vocals, the more subtle and varied instrumentation, and more developed lyrics; while still managing to be an adrenaline pumping hard rock song. An album high point.

4/5
__________________


Sometimes you can just lay down
You can play the game
You can take the cards that they deal ya
And you can just pretend it's all over
BUT NOT ME!!!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-15-2007, 06:49 PM
TheseDays2005 TheseDays2005 is offline
Senior Member
Just posting
 
Join Date: 13 Jul 2005
Location: behind a pc, somewhere
Age: 40
Gender: male
Posts: 5,141
Default

In terms of quality (YES) probs indeed their worst, even bounce can't beat that but hey 20 years more experience there....

Anyway good album, next to TD imo their most creative one, and I prefer it to their debut, crush & bounce - I actually listen to 7800 every once in a while - big negative point is the contrast between the songs, some really good ones, few really crap ones
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-15-2007, 07:16 PM
RyanBounce04 RyanBounce04 is offline
Senior Member
Jovi Geek
 
Join Date: 29 Jul 2002
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 6,818
Send a message via AIM to RyanBounce04 Send a message via MSN to RyanBounce04 Send a message via Yahoo to RyanBounce04
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseDays2005 View Post
In terms of quality (YES) probs indeed their worst, even bounce can't beat that but hey 20 years more experience there....

Anyway good album, next to TD imo their most creative one, and I prefer it to their debut, crush & bounce - I actually listen to 7800 every once in a while - big negative point is the contrast between the songs, some really good ones, few really crap ones

I kinda feel the same way about it myself. There's the few good ones and then the crappy ones. I wouldn't say it was necessarily their most creative record next to These Days, but I can appreciate what they went after. I'm glad it wasn't a complete rip-off of the debut.

Ryan
__________________
Dallas Cowboys - 2007 NFC East Champions
Boston Red Sox - 2007 World Series Champions
Florida State Seminoles - 2000 National Champions
Tampa Bay Lightning - 2004 Stanley Cup Champions
Philadelphia Soul - 2008 AFL Champions
Oklahoma City Thunder - ????????
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-15-2007, 07:46 PM
Kathleen's Avatar
Kathleen Kathleen is offline
Jovitalk Award Winner
I'll Post When I'm Dead
 
Join Date: 05 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey
Age: 72
Gender: female
Posts: 17,169
Send a message via AIM to Kathleen Send a message via MSN to Kathleen
Default

I know people bash this album but I have always defended it. Yes - it's a product of its time rather than being timless but it has so much emotion it really speaks to me. Some people think it's depressing but I say that anybody that has been in an agonizing relationship can relate. And I don't care how young - or old - you are, most of us have had a relationship like that at one time or other.

Kathleen
__________________

You write your truth and I'll write mine.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-15-2007, 08:07 PM
Captain Walrus's Avatar
Captain Walrus Captain Walrus is offline
Moderator
Tokyo Road
 
Join Date: 03 Aug 2002
Location: West Sussex, UK
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 11,394
Default

It definetly is an opinion divider, that's for sure

Only Lonely – Sticking with the theme of the difficulties of love, this song’s intro gives the impression that its going to be very synth driven, but it’s only a couple of seconds before the power chords kick in alongside the synths, and not much longer before the synths are relegated to their normal supporting role. The pace of this song is slower, but still carried by a pounding guitar/drum/bass combination; it could be described as a heavy rock ballad. There are so many great moments in this song: the moment that the pulsing rhythm of the guitar bass and drums kick in simultaneously; the fantastic bridge with the return to prevalence of the synths and the drum rolls leading into the guitar solo; the prechorus after the solo with the cut out and quick rebuilding of the drums with Jon’s emotive “cutting wounds that run SO!” over the top, and so on. The lyrics are even stronger than on the last song; and carry on the bomb theme: “I’ve got this timebomb ticking in my head / This time I think she’s gonna blow”. The emotion of an endless cycle of heartache building up inside the narrator is fantastically communicated through the music building from synthesized intro to the dangerous sounding bridge, great lyrics and the heart that Jon pours into it. Possibly the best song on the album, and in the hands of a better producer might have been even stronger.

4+/5
__________________


Sometimes you can just lay down
You can play the game
You can take the cards that they deal ya
And you can just pretend it's all over
BUT NOT ME!!!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-15-2007, 11:25 PM
Captain Walrus's Avatar
Captain Walrus Captain Walrus is offline
Moderator
Tokyo Road
 
Join Date: 03 Aug 2002
Location: West Sussex, UK
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 11,394
Default

King Of The Mountain – Just when you think you’ve got the album figured, along comes the bass and drum intro to this song with a funky guitar riff to match, and what you have is Bon Jovi’s first attempt at funk-rock. Musically the particularly striking thing is that, aside from the aforementioned riff and an inventive guitar solo, the driving instrument on this song is actually the drum, with fills all over the place. The call to arms to the downtrodden theme is far from one that the band is unfamiliar with, but this is the first time they really tried it out, and it seems oddly over-earnest and out of place here; the song seemingly trying to be both meaningful and fun, but mainly coming across as a bit awkward. What also doesn’t help is that the production on this song seems to be even worse than on the previous songs, especially on Jon’s vocals; as ever he puts in a fine performance but is left sounding rather flat. It’s not a bad song by any means, but is something of a “culture shock” … the poor production and attempt to experiment in two different directions at once coming off a bit overbearing.

2+/5
__________________


Sometimes you can just lay down
You can play the game
You can take the cards that they deal ya
And you can just pretend it's all over
BUT NOT ME!!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-16-2007, 01:23 AM
Captain Walrus's Avatar
Captain Walrus Captain Walrus is offline
Moderator
Tokyo Road
 
Join Date: 03 Aug 2002
Location: West Sussex, UK
Age: 34
Gender: male
Posts: 11,394
Default

Silent Night – The first real Bon Jovi power ballad is a relatively low key affair compared to how overblown the power ballad as a type of song would become. Having it driven by a repeating, very obviously fake synthesized string pattern and acoustic guitar is an interesting idea: on the one hand it adds to the stripped down intimate atmosphere of the song, and contrasts nicely with the rest of the songs on the album; but on the other it has the effect of immediately making the song sound dated to the contemporary listener. Jon plays an absolute blinder on this song, nowhere else on the album does he sounds quite this emotional, and as I’m assuming that the song is about him and Dorothea being torn apart by his new life, that’s perhaps not surprising. Richie also adds considerably to the power of the song, giving the riffs a rest and substituting them with a gentle acoustic guitar, with slashing chords used for emphasis in certain points … the combination of Jon’s voice and Richie’s guitar in the “Just turn and walk away” bits is so powerful. Lyrically heartbreaking, there’s an absolute hopelessness here that is very rare in Bon Jovi songs. Continues with the weaponry theme: “Held up in love without a gun”. Richie’s guitar solos are also particularly effective, showcasing a newfound sense of subtlety, and sounding unlike anything we’d heard from him to this point. Indeed, the song as a whole, for better or worse, sounds unlike from any Jovi song we’ve heard from them either before or since.

4/5
__________________


Sometimes you can just lay down
You can play the game
You can take the cards that they deal ya
And you can just pretend it's all over
BUT NOT ME!!!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-16-2007, 02:50 AM
Kathleen's Avatar
Kathleen Kathleen is offline
Jovitalk Award Winner
I'll Post When I'm Dead
 
Join Date: 05 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey
Age: 72
Gender: female
Posts: 17,169
Send a message via AIM to Kathleen Send a message via MSN to Kathleen
Default

Silent night is one of my favorite on the album - it is so obviously personal. They don't get that personal these days and that may be why it feels like some of the emotion is missing. I don't think it's a particularly great song but as you said - very different from what came before and most of what came after too. I think that song in particular gets it's message across in the emotion department rather than the musical department.

Now I gotta go listen - and for some reason I always crank this one up.

Kathleen
__________________

You write your truth and I'll write mine.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
7800° fahrenheit

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.