Bon Jovi bounce back from their 2000 effort ‘Crush’ which in itself was a return from a lengthy hiatus. They shouldn’t have bothered.
Written by: Dangerzone
ARTIST: Bon Jovi
SERIAL: 440 063 055-2
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jon Bon Jovi – vocals * Ritchie Sambora – guitars * David Bryan – keyboards * Huey McDonald – bass * Tico Torres – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Undivided * 02 Everyday * 03 The Distance * 04 Joey * 05 Misunderstood * 06 All About Lovin’ You * 07 Hook Me Up * 08 Right Side Of Wrong * 09 Love Me Back To Life * 10 You Had Me From Hello * 11 Bounce * 12 Open All Night
WEBLINKS: Site Link
2000’s ‘Crush’ brought Bon Jovi renewed album sales and media interest after a lengthy absence, based on the single ‘It’s My Life’, allowing the band to sell out places like Giants Stadium on tour. The album was actually a tepid mixture of modern rock and weepy ballads that had little to do with the sound that enabled them to become huge in the 80’s.
Pre production reports of ‘Bounce’ had the album pegged as a return to the glory days of those years, with the emphasis on hard rock. For the two people who believed that, ‘Bounce’ must be a letdown as it’s more of the same. This time Jon and co are trying to appeal to the Creed crowd while insisting on a number of tiresome ballads. Is it my imagination or were these men once a promising AOR band in 1984?
Typically a heavy cut is the lead track, the 9-11 tribute ‘Undivided’, which relies on some faceless riffing from Sambora who once had one of hard rock’s more identifiable styles. Now he sounds like another player and the whole track’s a bit forced. First single ‘Everyday’ is perhaps the best thing here, an obvious choice to release first. The chorus is radio ready, but the band goes overboard with the use of various digital effects.
‘The Distance’ merges ultra modern rock riffs with orchestration, something as original as a song called ‘Ready To Rock’. The end result is butchered by the strings, which were previously attempted on ‘Crush’, an overdone feature. Jon continues his Springsteen beat poet fixation with ‘Joey’, a mild ballad about ‘Joey Keys from my neighbourhood’. Lyrically excessive, the songs reads like an essay.
‘Misunderstood’ differs little from Goo Goo Dolls material, bland pop rock, as is the heavily sampled ‘All About Lovin You’ which overdoes the drum machine. A slight notch above is ‘Hook Me Up’, relying on a strong, ah, hook without effects. The ballads return with ‘Right Side Of Wrong’, sickly harmonies afoot, followed by more orchestrated nonsense, this time ‘Love Me Back To Life’, masquerading as hard rock with a sub heavy riff.
There’s time for two more yawning ballads, ‘You Had Me From Hello’ and ‘Open All Night’, nothing thrilling of note. As expected there is a virtual rewrite of ‘It’s My Life’, in the form of the title track, same industrial bleeps and ‘defiant’ chorus included.
‘Bounce’ reached no 2 in it’s first week on Billboard, but at the time of writing had slipped to 64 after just five weeks (while Boston cruises in at no 42.). Evidence perhaps that the public isn’t buying it this time around? They shouldn’t. Bon Jovi are pandering to an audience that doesn’t exist.
They had their big hit in 2000, which had crossover appeal, but ‘Bounce’ simply repeats the premise, and with no hit to back it up, is destined to go the same way as Def Leppard‘s ‘X’- nowhere.. What bands like this don’t understand is the people who do buy their albums are the same people who bought them in 1986. And when the music isn’t quite how they remembered it to be, they lose interest. Me? I never had any. Give me ‘Get Ready’ any day.