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Bon Jovi
Albums

  • Slippery When Wet,
  • New Jersey,
  • Keep The Faith,
  • These Days,








  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    Bon Jovi

    Slippery When Wet ( 1986, UK pos 6 )
    Let It Rock / You Give Love A Bad Name / Livin' On A Prayer / Social Disease / Wanted Dead Or Alive / Raise Your Hands / Without Love / I'd Die For You / Never Say Goodbye / Wild In The Streets

    Did Bon Jovi have anything to say? Well, no. They just wanted to ROCK, god bless em'. So, do they? Do they what I hear you cry? Well, ROCK of course? Actually, here at least - they do, kinda. This was their break-through success in an Eighties era of hair metal - bands with impossibly long, flowing locks that looked like girls hair. Even better for Bon Jovi's chances of success were Jon Bons 'winning' good looks. Went down a storm. It wasn't enough to write good songs, you understand. You had to look good as well! Lemmy from Motorhead was worried. But anyways, the sound we get here is a kind of Def Leppard soft-rock, infused with pop-nous. Particularly on the singles, which all are classics of their kind, by the way. 'You Give Love A Bad Name' and 'Livin On A Prayer' are the one's of course. 'You Give Love A Bad Name' is the lesser of the two in terms of invention, just a solid slice of melodic rock music. 'Livin Of A Prayer' on the other-hand fully established Bon Jovi as a band with a particular sound. It was all over the radio, a huge single, deservedly so. It's catchy! So is flu! Nah, I'm being unfair, it's pretty good. The opening track meanwhile which appears right before these two blockbusters is unsubtle to say the least. Still, it does have a quite frankly ludicrous keyboard/organ solo to open - which is entertaining. Any song called 'Social Disease' worries me right from the start. To be fair to Bon Jovi  this does have decent guitar riffage and a semi-shaking of the head kind of air about it. 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' was another hit single on an album quite frankly full of them. I always quite liked this and its nice little western guitar parts. It's cliché, it's nothing new but it's well done. Kudos to Jon Bon for his vocal performance here as well by the way.

    The second half of the album explodes with the guitars of 'Raise Your Hands' which if nothing else must have gone down a storm when performed live. And in truth, it fits this record perfectly. Something a little perkier after a couple of mid-tempo tunes on the album. 'Without Love' sounds very mid to late Eighties. Lots of keyboards through the track when it was thought having a keyboard player in a hard rock band was actually a good idea! Well, it can be a good idea but this song isn't. It's dull, quite frankly. On the other hand, the keyboards that open 'I'd Die For You' sound so comical they work as entertainment - the guitars are good when they come in and add a credibility factor to the tune. Jon Bon Jovi sings in a huskier voice here, all waving arms in the air, reaching out to those swooning girls at the front. Mentions of 'Romeo And Juliet' in the lyric ram the point unsubtly home. 'Never Say Goodbye' is a dreary ballad although the guitar again is fairly reasonable. The closing 'Wild In The Streets' again employs keyboards but unlike the entertaining keyboards present in 'I'D Die For You' and rather more like the keyboards in 'Without Love'. What's the difference? It's down to how you're using the instrument. With the likes of 'Without You' the keyboards are entirely superfluous. On 'I'd Die For You' they form a kind of striking introduction to the song before fading out to let the vocals and guitar take over. 'Wild In The Streets' is saved slightly by a nice little guitar solo that comes sailing in but other than that is bordering on bland. This is a melodic album though, and the performances generally full of energy and accomplishment.

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    New Jersey 6 ( 1988, UK pos 1 )
    Lay Your Hands on Me / Bad Medicine / Born to Be My Baby / Living in Sin / Blood on Blood / Homebound Train / Wild as the Wind / Ride Cowboy Ride / Stick to Your Guns / I'll Be There for You / 99 in the Shade / Love for Sale

    Bon Jovi knew what they were doing by this stage. We get stadium anthems, songs seemingly built and designed to be played live. The introduction to the six minute long opening track bears this out. Very bombastic, very opening of the set sounding! The guitars kick in, a rocking vocal with rocking guitars and everything is played so very well but the chorus is obvious, repeated into oblivion, and the song is far too long. Second song 'Bad Medicine' is five minutes in long but soon launches into a chorus for the crowd to chant with. It's pretty good actually but it does comes across as far too calculated and lacking in the 'newness' that parts of 'Slippery When Wet' had. 'Born To Be My Baby' opens with entertaining 'nah, nah, nah' vocal parts, Jon Bon Jovi sounds completely ludicrous, thus extremely funny! As a song, this sounds like a failed 'Livin On A Prayer', but even a failed 'Livin On A Prayer' is more enjoyable than either of the first two songs! Wait, didn't I say I quite liked 'Bad Medicine'? 'Born To Be My Baby' shapes up very well when the guitar solo launches in even if the whole song still sounds like something a German group might perform for the Eurovision song contest. The power ballad 'Livin In Sin' actually has a touch of class about it. It is of course very arms in the air or arms wrapped around the back of a long haired girl wearing leather, but even saying that, it does what it does very well. 'Blood On Blood' opens with fast guitar lines and booming drums. Jon Bon goes, 'YEAH!' and suddenly it seems he's been to too many U2 concerts. 'Homebound Train' has a lovely little 'train' introduction and when the song proper begins the guitar does its job very well indeed.

    'Wild Is The Wind' is a hideous power rock ballad with terribly clichéd lyrics, 'Ride Cowboy Ride' is very short and unobtrusive even with fake vinyl effects all over it. 'Stick To Your Guns' is another power rock ballad, and sounds exactly as its title suggests. 'I'll Be There For You' is better, perhaps the best vocal performance on the entire record, and whilst the lyrical content is hardly original even now, is somehow less irritating when married to an almost genuinely moving ballad guitar performance. Besides, he sings this well, and I'll give Jon Bon his due for that. '99 In The Shade' is a chugging heavier rock song that survives purely on the strength of the guitar work even though the guitar isn't actually doing anything terribly interesting. Let's put it this way. It's a good performance but a lousy song. 'Love For Sale' tries to sound home-grown, off the cuff, messing around and natural. Even this sounds calculated. The second half of this record is poor. I don't say it's poor because Bon Jovi don't have instrumental prowess, or because Jon Bon Jovi can't sing. I say it because most of the second half and a good part of the first half is screamingly unoriginal and lacking in a little something different and special. The singles here are nowhere near as entertaining and resilient as any of the singles from 'Slippery When Wet' and whilst 'New Jersey' may have consolidated Bon Jovi's reputation at the time, it surely didn't enhance it.

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    Readers Comments

    Jerome jewuda@gmx.de
    This was my absolutely favourite record when I was twelve years old. Today I think it's not a great record but I still like listen to some of the songs. I like the first seven songs, "Dry County" is my favourite. The last couple of songs aren't that good and sound like fillers. But that's the problem with all Bon Jovi records. There are some good songs, but there is always some crap. And I never liked "Fear". After all I'd give it a "6".

    Amelia alexandrafleming@hotmail.com
    You can't dissagree with me by saying that this album sounds shit! In fact it is the best album that they have done in their whole career! Get a load of those catchy opening on "Lay Your Hands On Me". That make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up coz it is so fucking brilliant! Richie Sambora is an utter legend! No comment about that! "Bad Medicine" can get away wth the cringworthy keyboard opening but launchs into that fuckingly brilliant verse. These are my thoughts on the rest of the album: "Born To Be My Baby"-awesome! "Living In Sin"-awesome aswell. "Blood On Blood"-reminds me when i was young. "Homebound Train"-love the guitar riffs on that! "Wild Is The Wind"-what a song! Thank God for someone like Diane Warren to help them cowrite it! "Ride Cowboy Ride"-corney but cool! "Stick To Your Guns"- song for all those cowboys out there! "I'll Be There For You"-the best song on the album! "99 In The Shade"-Fucking awesome! "Love For Sale"-a song when you are pissed as h! ell, fab! Overall: Fucking brilliant! I love it!!!!

    David dmbarr123@yahoo.co.uk
    You don't know what you are going on about!. Are you totally deaf?. This album is amazing. Every track is great!. Tell you what, YOU try and write an album like New Jersey!. You say the songs just sound the same as the ones on Slippery When Wet, well let me tell you something- thats just what Bonjovi is like, thats their sound!. You are totally wrong with this- NEW JERSEY IS A GREAT ALBUM!


    Keep The Faith 4 ( 1992, UK pos 1 )
    I Believe / Keep The Faith / I'll Sleep When I'm Dead / In These Arms / Bed Of Roses / If I Was Your Mother / Dry County / Woman In Love / Fear / I Want You / Blame It On The Love Of Rock & Roll / Little Bit Of Soul

    Bon Jovi enter the nineties, rocking and a rolling but with slightly shorter hair. Jon Bon roars vocally through the opening song but the musical backing is unimaginative, to say the least. A power rock reasonably faced paced ballad, if that makes sense. But, without a single inventive guitar line, with absolutely nothing new and also without much of a pop edge, either. The title song is reasonably catchy, Jon Bon sounds slightly raw, which suits the song, and this is ok stuff. Both of the opening songs are over five minutes in length. Third song 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead' is just under five minutes, but the finest of the three opening songs with a certain energy and structure about it. 'In These Arms' is actually even pretty good! A nice, almost romantic song which still may not be even remotely original, but it is very well executed. 'Bed Of Roses' opens with some very atmospheric decent guitar lines before moving into ballad power territory. How do I feel about this song? He sings it damn well, but musically it's nothing at all to get excited about, bar the opening guitar segment. It's very well produced and everything.... just not really very distinctive - bar the vocals of course. 'If I Was Your Mother' introduces heavier guitars, but it sounds tired.

    'Dry County' is very dreary if with vaguely interesting lyrics. Nothing here is without at least a little merit, it's just so - commercial. So ordinary in it's commercial intent. They play it safe, everywhere. No electro rock 'Livin On A Prayer' here! By the time 'Woman In Love' arrives, you may be starting to despair. Oh, did I mention that 'Dry County' is nine minutes long? NINE? Christ.... 'Fear' is better, the guitars have much more bite, and the song is happily only three minutes long! 'I Want You' slows back down to Eurovision Song Contest German group Rock entry standard. And then? 'Blame It On The Love Of Rock & Roll'. Terribly cliched. The closing 'Save A Prayer' is six minutes long and entirely without interest bar the opening little shouted section. A few dance influences creep in, and then the record ends. And you know? You may feel kind of glad that it has.

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    Readers Comments

    Jerome jewuda@gmx.de
    This was my absolutely favourite record when I was twelve years old. Today I think it's not a great record but I still like listen to some of the songs. I like the first seven songs, "Dry County" is my favourite. The last couple of songs aren't that good and sound like fillers. But that's the problem with all Bon Jovi records. There are some good songs, but there is always some crap. And I never liked "Fear". After all I'd give it a "6".

    Annalaura lalladex@libero.it
    how can you tell this on bon jovi music?! it's great and powerfull!!! ktf 4??? go listen britney spears!!!

    Percy71pg@aol.com
    you dont know the 1st thing about music mate, bon jovi are a top notch band

    Jonathan Richard Roseveare jrr1@ukc.ac.uk
    Bon Jovi are not a top notch band! They are a mediocre band at best. I mean Everyday, there latest tune is very average. Ok so they have written some decent tunes but they are ridicously cheesy. Try Bruce Springsteen for decent american rock


    These Days 7 ( 1995, UK pos 1 )
    Hey God / Something for the Pain / This Ain't a Love Song / These Days / Lie to Me / Damned / My Guitar Lies Bleeding in My Arms / (It's Hard) Letting You Go / Hearts Breaking Even / Something to Believe In / If That's What It Takes / Diamond Ring

    Even if I personally didn't like it very much, 'Keep The Faith' had been a succesful comeback for Bon Jovi and established them as a Nineties Rock band, not just some group from the Eighties people sort of remembered and dug out when feeling nostalgic. This follow-up set sounds very well produced, very well performed with confidence and maturity. The opening 'Hey God' is a truly fantastic song, right up there for me with the finest guitar rock songs Bon Jovi have ever done. Jon Bon gives a performance of some power, the guitar is good, the rhythm section solid. And, it's exciting!! It's six minutes long, but remarkably isn't dull for a single moment. Phew. Second song 'Something For The Pain' takes a while to get started, but once it does stays just the right side of enjoyable power rock ballad territory. The chorus is strong, so is the song. 'This Ain't A Love Song' is back to Bon Jovi ballad territory, well produced and performed, especially vocally, but just a little unimaginative. The title song is hardly anything remarkable either, but there is something about the sound of the guitars, the sound of the vocals - the way the song has been structured. It's a nice song, and so far i'm enjoying this album far more than i'd expected to.

    'Lie To Me' opens with quiet keyboards, Jon Bon Jovi comes in with his 'emotional' ballad voice, guitar enters - the whole thing is still very quiet and tender. You wait for a soaring chorus to come in, but instead we get treated to a nicely enjoyable and accomplished guitar part. THEN the soaring vocals come in. It's hardly a great essential masterpiece of a song, after around the three and a half minute mark it loses itself, but oh well. 'Damned' is notable for it's little funky guitar parts, 'My Guitar Lies Bleeding' notable for, well, the guitar parts? Actually not, it's not notable for anything whatsoever, just a power ballad too many. '(It's Hard) Letting You Go' is merley a ballad, 'Hearts Breaking Even' another power ballad - and suddenly the album is losing itself. 'Something To Believe In' is mid-tempo, but features some interesting instrumentation texture even if this particular song sounds very Eighties. 'If That's What It Takes' is more power rock ballad territory on an album that has enough of them already, thank you very much. Better is 'Diamond Ring' where the instrumentation is pretty and restrained, and the vocals even managing to be pretty and very affecting. 'All I Want Is Everything' finally sees the group rock out a little, and it's welcome, but overdue! 'Bitter Wine' has some pretty Piano, more nice accomplished vocals. A pleasing closer. A pleasing album, I suppose. It does sag in places, sound far too 'usual' in other places, but the opening of the record is strong and several of the other songs are as well. <

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    Shane shanedhrty@yahoomail.com
    I WOULD NOT CONSIDER MYSELF A BON JOVI FAN AT ALL PROBABLY BECAUSE I CONSIDER HIS LYRICS FOR THE MOST PART TO BE TRULLY HORRENDOUS. hOWEVER, i DO OWN THIS ALBUM AND I PERSONALLY THINK IT'S A FANTASTIC ALBUM MUSICALLY. iT'S STRENGTH IN DEPTH IS ASTONISHING, EVERY SONG IS FANTASTIC. I THINK IF u2 PRODUCED AN ALBUM AS MUSICALLY STRONG AS THIS, IT WOULD BE HAILED AS BEING ONE OF THE GREATEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME. SO MANY MUSIC CRITICS ARE JUST SNOBS AND LACK THE BALLS TO HEAP PRAISE ON AN ALBUM PRODUCED BY A BAND SO 'UNCOOL' AS BON JOVI ARE DEEMED TO BE. I FEEL THAT I AM NOT BEING BIASED ON THE MATTER, AS GENERALLY MY TASTE IN MUSIC VARIES FROM RADIOHEAD TO STEVIE WONDER TO DIVINE COMEDY TO RACHMANINOV. TO BE FAIR, THIS PARTICULAR REVIEW OF THE ALBUM IS TRYING TO BE CONSTRUCTIVE BUT I WOULD JUST LIKE TO URGE ANY READER HERE TO GET A HOLD OF THIS ALBUM AND MAYBE DORM THEIR OWN OPINION. PS THE REVIEWS OF THE DIVINE COMEDY'S ALBUMS THAT ARE ON THIS WEB SITE ARE EXCELLENT.

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    this page last updated 10/03/07



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