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Old 03-21-2006, 09:59 PM
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Default Still Having A Nice Day?

It occurs to me that it’s been just over 6 months since the album was released, and like Purist I never wrote a review when everyone else did, so I figured I’d do one now. How has the album held up for the rest of you guys 6 months later?

Warning: this review will be LONG.

Right, track by track:

Have A Nice Day: OK, so thematically and structurally it might be pretty similar to the lead singles off the previous two albums, but it manages to distinguish itself by making at least a partial return to the organic rock of old. The production is great, sounds kinda raw and isn't covered in effects like, for example Everyday, just a big rock song … in a way, it’s more similar to KTF than the previous two lead singles. Really like the drumming, really like the guitars ... especially the semi-acoustic intro riff. Love how raw Jon sounds, especially on the opening lines, and the "Ooooooooooooooooh" at the end. The vocal harmonies under the chorus from IML make a reappearance, although in my opinion they aren't quite as good. Overall, I may really like Everyday and IML, but I think that this is the best song of the three. 8/10 Oh, and in general the demo version is even better … if the best bits of the two were put together, and sounded as raw as the demo, I’d like it even more

I Want To Be Loved: Kinda has "modern rock 101" written all over it, kinda angsty lyrics, simple repetitive riff ... that's probably my main problem with it, it is quite a repetitive song. And has a guitar solo which lasts about two seconds. But on the plus side, the riff sounds good, Jon sounds good, and I do like the lyrics, especially on the second verse. Overall though, the song is a bit too ... controlled is probably the word I'd use. 6 or 7 /10

Welcome To Wherever You Are: Lyrically, I kinda love it and hate it. I like the general theme, and I like some of the lyrics, like “every new beginning is some beginning’s end” or “this is your life, you’ve made it this far. But mainly the lyrics are cheesy as hell … the infamous “God makes no mistakes” line being a case in point. Musically, it’s simple but it works, it’s not flashy or anything. I quite like the strings. Jon does quite a good job with it, the high notes in the chorus are good. Not one of my favourite songs, but I wouldn’t call it a bad song either. 6 or 7 /10

Who Says You Can’t Go Home: It’s good fun. It’s a fairly well written pop song. I quite like the countryish vibe, although I don’t entirely think it constitutes a massive departure in sound. Apart from that, there’s not much more to say about it. I don’t mind the “it’s alright!”s quite as much as everyone else seems to, I can imagine that they provide a pretty good singalong moment. So yeah, overall, a nice fun song, but a bit disposable IMO. 6 or 7 / 10

Last Man Standing: Love it. The intro riff just grabs you, especially what I think is the rhythm guitar. Nice to have a song that actually says something beyond the standard “live my life” component. Pretty much rocks. I know everyone complains about the key Jon sings it in, but I think it works, I couldn’t imagine it sung in any other key, and it allows for contrast with the more forceful vocal delivery near the end. Actually reminds me slightly of Wanted Dead Or Alive, which can’t be a bad thing. 8 or 9 / 10

Bells Of Freedom: Blah blah blah, bells are clichéd … yeah perhaps, but I actually like the way the bells chime and then the guitar slowly fades in underneath. The whole thing has kinda a folky/bluesy Dylanesque vibe, which is fine by me! I love the lyrics to the first verse, I feel it actually allows you to see what it’s describing, and on the line “as I choked back the tears, there’s a silent scream that no one can hear”, such is the passion in Jon’s voice that I think you can almost believe it. Jon does a great job in this one, the “Let ‘em RING!” in the bridge especially is great. Nice to see an outro of sorts as well, even if it’s not all that long. If there’s one complaint, it is of course that the chorus lyrics are a bit … iffy, shall we say. But overall I think this is a really good song. Gonna say 8 / 10.

Wildflower: Ok, firstly this horse is now officially dead. This theme was overused on Crush, I don’t particularly need to be hearing it again. That said, the lyrics themselves aren’t too bad, quite poetic which contrasts nicely with the more direct lyrics of most of the rest of the album, although that also has the effect of making it seem a bit out of place. Musically it’s nothing too exciting, although I’m usually a sucker for strings I think that here they’re far too high in the mix. Again, I have to praise Jon’s vocals on this one … after 6 years of him crooning in sentimental songs, it’s a very welcome change to hear him really belting this one out, especially on the “Nobody knows” bits. And the outro … I can’t say enough how nice it is to hear an old-style BJ outro, this one almost (but not quite) seems to recall the outro from Always with Jon shouting away. Overall, I’d probably give this song a 6 / 10. And please, no more rewrites of it.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:00 PM
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Last Cigarette: Nicely different from typical BJ. Love the idea, especially love the drumming in the verses. Good solo as well. Not too keen on all of the lyrics, the “don’t ask the past to last bit” for example I’m not too sure about. The chorus is cool, and I like the fact that it’s pretty harmony driven, although sometimes the backing vocals seem a bit odd. And of course, the infamous Beach Boys breakdown is great, I love bits in songs that are just so unexpected that they demand you take notice. A good song, I’ll give it 7 / 10

I Am : I don’t quite know what to make of this song. I do quite like it, probably more so than Welcome, which it bears similarities to, but I don’t seem to like it quite as much as everything. The chorus is pretty powerful due to it being quite high for this era of BJ, and the lyrics are simple yet effective … again Jon does a good job with this one. Musically it’s pretty good, but not really outstanding … I dunno, I feel like I’m overlooking something important. I’ll give it 7 or 8 /10

Complicated: Controversially … I like it. I can identify with it. Maybe it is a bit odd for a band generally in their 40’s to be singing such a thing, but the band’s greatest strength IMO has always been to write songs that people can identify with, and this one gets me in that way. Although, the lyrics in general aren’t really all that great … mainly I like it cos of “Is there any body out there just like me?”, especially in the bridge, which is cool. Not an incredible strong by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll probably give it 7 /10

Novocaine: Now this is a highlight of the album. It has a real stream-of-conciousness feel to it, and the lyrics are fantastic … not poetic, just brutally straightforward and honest. You’ve got to love “there’s a different kind of meaning now to living on a prayer”, and at the end Jon asserting that “I feel no pain”. The whole idea is a great one. And I especially love the breakdown and building back up … and the outro, I may not entirely be able to understand what Jon is saying, but it’s still a pretty heartwrenching moment … you can almost see him saying those things (whatever they may be) to Dave. Great song, 8 or 9 / 10 for this one

Story Of My Life: Yeah, so the chorus is almost the same as Last Cigarette’s, but in general terms the song is nearly completely different. Pretty good rock song actually, manages to sound like typical BJ but not so much so that it doesn’t offer anything new. I like the theme, it seems an appropriate way to end this album imparticular for the band be saying like “this is where we are in our lives right now”. I especially like the “I hope you’re by my side when I’m writing the last page” bit, just seems like a very good way to end the album. Some quite nice guitar on this track. I also like the way the chorus develops as the song goes on. So perhaps not a classic song, but a good song to end the album on. 7/10 sounds about right

Dirty Little Secret: Good rock song. Actually sounds a bit dance-y as well … kinda reminds me of a song by a band called Head Automatica, if anyone knows them. Nice drumming throughout, good guitar as well, nice solo. Like most of the songs I think Jon does a good job with this one, he really gives it some on, for example, “I wanna feel alive!”. The lyrics for the most part are great: “I light a candle in the garden of love, to blind the angels looking down from above” … how deviant, almost like Damned all over again. Would probably have been a worthy inclusion on the album proper, I’ll give it 7 or 8 / 10

Unbreakable: Yeah, it sounds pretty much like a heavier Backstreet Boys. Yeah, it has ridiculous lyrics. Yeah, it is completely over the top. But for all those reasons, I actually quite like it. It’s not particularly pretending to be anything it’s not, no one’s trying to pretend it should have been on the album. Plus, it actually kind of rocks in a cheesy heavy pop kind of way. I think the absolute ridiculousness of the lyrics just contributes to it. Love the chorus near the end, where the instruments drop out and Jon repeats the one word from each line, just great! Cheesy as hell, but great! Don’t think by any means that it should have been on the album, but it’s a fun song. I’d say 6 or 7 /10

Nothing: Officially my most listened to song on the album, which is odd considering it’s not even on the album. I love it, it’s kinda like I Am, but better IMO. Absolutely great chorus, great opening with the acoustic guitar before the drums and everything else kicks in, love the general acoustic/electric feel of it. No guitar solo perhaps, but I reckon the chorus near the end makes up for it, with Jon’s “I could learn to live without you, but I WOULD DIE!” and the “I won’t give up, cos you know I won’t let you down” outro. I have very little bad to say about this song, definetly should have been on the album, in place of I Am if the reason that it wasn’t on there was because they are too similar. 8 or 9 / 10

These Open Arms: Not too much to say about it, doesn’t really do anything for me. Quite nice lyrics I suppose. Pretty nice vocal harmonies I guess. Meh, it’s alright, but I think they made the right choice in pulling it from the album. 5 or 6 /10

And there we have it. In general I think that this is a good album … the band seem to have found a place where they seem pretty comfortable, which I’m not sure if I consider to be a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, it’s good that they don’t sound as awkward and forced as some of the Crush and Bounce material, but on the other hand, I enjoyed Bounce mainly because of its experimentation and branching out into new directions. I may prefer the harder – rock Jovi of old, but the type of sound they have on this album does kinda suit them … more in some places that others though. I would really like them to release a live album at the end of this year, then take a good long break to do some more solo stuff.

Overall I’ll give the album 7.5 / 10, which is probably the same rating I’d give Bounce, but for different reasons. Dunno which one I prefer of the two
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:12 PM
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I more or less agree with your review more than I do Daves. I'm not going to do the song by song thing because I generally like every song and 12 short blurbs of "I Like this song because.." gets old fast. As much as I hate the term, I feel this album is a "return to form" for the boys. It manages to combine the fun of Crush with the heavy guitars of Bounce (Sound wise, not what they're playing). As much as I liked Bounce, it got old quick, there needed a fun value to get any replay.

I JUST listened to HAND in it's full form a few minutes ago actually. I just love it. The big highlights for me are HAND, LMS, Last Cig, and Novocaine. I think Novocaine is the best thing they've recorded since 2000 and it's easily in my top 10 of fav jovi songs ever. I'm glad they dropped the cheesy drum machine and keyboardy effects. The whole album can EASILY be played on an acoustic guitar or two and still make sense but Bounce would sound odd on acoustic guitars. Speaking of, I love that over half the album has acoustic guitars tucked underneath the electrics to give it that extra oomph. I love John Shanks production style, much more than Luke "keyboards make it better" Ebbins.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Walrus
Welcome to Wherever You Are: I like some of the lyrics, like “every new beginning is some beginning’s end”

Last Cigarette: the “don’t ask the past to last bit” for example I’m not too sure about.

Novocaine: Now this is a highlight of the album. It has a real stream-of-conciousness feel to it, and the lyrics are fantastic … not poetic, just brutally straightforward and honest. You’ve got to love “there’s a different kind of meaning now to living on a prayer”, and at the end Jon asserting that “I feel no pain”. The whole idea is a great one. And I especially love the breakdown and building back up … and the outro, I may not entirely be able to understand what Jon is saying, but it’s still a pretty heartwrenching moment … you can almost see him saying those things (whatever they may be) to Dave. Great song, 8 or 9 / 10 for this one

Dirty Little Secret: for example, “I wanna feel alive!”. The lyrics for the most part are great: “I light a candle in the garden of love, to blind the angels looking down from above” … how deviant, almost like Damned all over again.
1. I like that line better in that Semisonic song.

2. I really like that line. For no substantial reason, I just like it.

3. Yes. Dead-on. Especially the stream-of-consciousness thing, which I didn't really think about, but it makes sense because I love stream-of-consciousness in books and poetry and such so that probably explains why I like the lyrics so much. And I think knowing it's about David is a strong point, because like you said I can kind of see him saying all this to him.

4. I LOVE the "I wanna feel alive" part. And those other lyrics you quoted pulled me right into the song and I knew right away I'd love it.

Pardon me while I hijack some of your thread space (I'll pay rent in the form of Monopoly dollars, if you'd like). I don't have a review, but if you feel like reading what I've said about some of the songs, clicky:
http://bjaday.blogspot.com/2006/03/6...open-arms.html
http://bjaday.blogspot.com/2006/02/47-i-am.html
http://bjaday.blogspot.com/2006/01/32-unbreakable.html
http://bjaday.blogspot.com/2006/01/2...r-you-are.html
http://bjaday.blogspot.com/2006/01/2...-be-loved.html
http://bjaday.blogspot.com/2005/12/1...cigarette.html

/shameless plug over

/thread hijack over

I agree with Walrus's review more than Bleeding Purist's. I think our tastes are similar-er. More similar, if you want me to use real words and normal-person grammar.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
kinda reminds me of a song by a band called Head Automatica, if anyone knows them.
I don't know them, but I'd like to hear that song. What's it called?
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Walrus

Dirty Little Secret: Good rock song. Actually sounds a bit dance-y as well … kinda reminds me of a song by a band called Head Automatica, if anyone knows them. Nice drumming throughout, good guitar as well, nice solo. Like most of the songs I think Jon does a good job with this one, he really gives it some on, for example, “I wanna feel alive!”. The lyrics for the most part are great: “I light a candle in the garden of love, to blind the angels looking down from above” … how deviant, almost like Damned all over again. Would probably have been a worthy inclusion on the album proper, I’ll give it 7 or 8 / 10

Nothing: Officially my most listened to song on the album, which is odd considering it’s not even on the album. I love it, it’s kinda like I Am, but better IMO. Absolutely great chorus, great opening with the acoustic guitar before the drums and everything else kicks in, love the general acoustic/electric feel of it. No guitar solo perhaps, but I reckon the chorus near the end makes up for it, with Jon’s “I could learn to live without you, but I WOULD DIE!” and the “I won’t give up, cos you know I won’t let you down” outro. I have very little bad to say about this song, definetly should have been on the album, in place of I Am if the reason that it wasn’t on there was because they are too similar. 8 or 9 / 10
I'm glad someone else sees a slight similiarity between Damned and Dirty Little Secret. I didn't pick up on it right away, but after listening to DLS a few times, I definitely thought of Damned, which happens to be one of my all time favourite Jovi songs. Plus whenever I hear DLS, all I can picture is the Sims video Naomi made for the song

And I completely agree with what you've written about Nothing.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphavictim
I don't know them, but I'd like to hear that song. What's it called?
The song is called Please Please Please (Young Hollywood) ... it doesn't sound incredibly like it, just reminds me of it a bit
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:06 AM
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Alright Walrus, answer this.........if presented with the choice of including either Wildflower or Unbreakable on the album, which would you choose?
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:24 AM
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Great review Walrus. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:49 AM
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Thanks for sharing your review.

HAND for me is still holding up very well after 6 months which actually pleasantly surprised me.

And not that I was asked but I'd take Wildflower any day of the week over Unbreakable simply due to originality.

deb
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