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File Under: Pop Rock
rating: A
tracks

1. Undivided

2. Everyday

3. The Distance

4. Joey

5. Misunderstood

6. All About Lovin' You

7. Hook Me Up

8. On the Right Side of Wrong

9. Love Me Back to Life

10. You Had Me From Hello

11. Bounce

12. Open All Night

related links
  • Bon Jovi
  • Island/ Def Jam Records
  • Bon Jovi
    Bounce

    Island/Def Jam
    by Susan Salva

    Bon Jovi, America's good guy's of rock have released their eighth studio debut CD entitled, "Bounce," which presents their signatory sound complete with complicated guitar riffs, themes that were similar from previous records. Such as troublesome relationships, working hard to earn a living and the band's love for our nation, plus their use their notorious squawk box connected to Richie Sambora's guitar which speaks to the audience in a visceral manner. After twenty years together, these guys are still able to craft hit after hit and remain true to their own stylized identity. Bounce is a complete work of art with each song telling a chapter of their story, a sampling of songs offering a snapshot of the band's life experiences this past year.

    "Undivided," the first track off of Bounce, on Island/ Def Jam Records, reveals explicitly the gut-wrenching emotionalism regarding the 9/11 tragedy. The music is gritty and the drums keep a steady booming industrial sound. Bon Jovi, and the band clearly express their experience and devastation they like all of us who lived through that fated day. But underneath resides the silver lining that the band reveals that they are hopeful in union of our country still standing undivided and united. The group is fearless in their communication of their patriotism and that patriotism was what got them past this horrendous hideous catastrophe.

    "Everyday," is the first single, which explores the concept and strength of a man reclaiming his life based on his own terms. He's been burnt before in a relationship and now he is ready to act out his life on his own terms. The harmonies help to emphasize the sure determination of brushing the past under the rug and assuming responsibility of ones own actions. He's ready to live his life in the manner that he wants regardless of what others might think about him and his change incorporated in his "Everyday," life. Bon Jovi obviously knows how to craft a great tune and this song is not without exception. There is a bridge portion where Jon is on the left speakers while Richie Sambora sings harmony in the other ear for a full production sound.

    "The Distance," opens in a cinematic style with distorted guitar riffs and hammer-ons in this poignant song. The music is complete with a string section giving forth an orchestral feel. Lyrically, the song provides a sense of hope and sheer determination. The song challenges the listener to do whatever it takes to accomplish whatever one is striving towards.

    The music, complete with aggressive guitar licks and a strong chorus hook is memorable. One can sense the crescendo and modulation elevating the song toward a sense of climax and accomplishment. This song can help elevate your mood by enticing you to believe in yourself no matter what. It offers passion to one who feels they are capable of reaching a goal in sight and show their determination when striving to reach a specific goal.

    "Misunderstood," a casual, steady beat tune exploring the use and misuse of using the wrong words and being misunderstood in a relationship that might be ending due to a 'misunderstanding.' A common theme in many Bon Jovi songs which stem from times when his own words got fowled up and may have squandered a relationship. Bon Jovi makes this song his own by interjecting a repetitive harmony section. Sambora is in sync accompanying Jon in an unobtrusive manner, but doing just enough soloing and upholding strong choruses that definitely help to pull the song together.

    "All About Lovin' You," is a beautiful, classic power ballad with dramatic guitar riffs, as the band easily soaks up this genre falling into an easy groove while many other artists in the past were incapable of pulling off such a love song without sounding sappy. This track is another love song where one couple wants to work out differences they may share. The lyrics indicate that the man is rehashing his part in the relation as something he cherishes and is willing to work towards. The sheer expression of love for another again uses outstanding string section and the magnificent piano sound courtesy of David Bryan.

    "Hook Me Up," the grungy, aggressive guitar is courtesy of Richie Sambora. Experimental use of electronic effects is riveting. Also, this song is another slice of life in an unbalanced relationship. His reliance is on his partner to be the one to save him. This song utilizes another outstanding guitar solo by Sambora and in the live concert you can see up close his fingering flying across on the fretboard. He makes playing the guitar look as easy and effortless a riding a bicycle, but it's not. The music is energetic and uplifting. It's easy to identify with the struggle ensuing within the song.

    "Right Side Of Wrong," is a melodic, stunning piano intro, which plays throughout the song by Bryant for another power ballad. Dramatic storyline imaging cowboy songs and comparing the story to that of Butch and Sundance, the proverbial cowboy image found prominently featured throughout many of Bon Jovi songs like "Wanted Dead or Alive". They appear to put themselves beside the cowboy image. The great outdoors, the freedom to believe in what your willing to stand up and fight no matter what the stakes may be. The cowboy icon represents the loner and an outsider, whom are similar concepts expressed in the lyrics written by the band and believed in their heart. The song is an intentional nod to storytelling songwriters that have inspired the band.

    "Bounce," the album title track, is a declaration of strength and defiance. The gruff guitar work and electronic instruments Bon Jovi expresses his frustration from being on the top of the world to taking pot shots for the material he has written over the years and the backlash from the grunge era. Nonetheless, he's been resilient and able to 'bounce' back and ascend to respectability through hard work and determination and flat-out never giving up. Obviously, the chorus uses the word, 'Bounce' in place of another four-lettered word, if you know what I mean.

    Be sure to get a hold of the CD because the J-card is absolutely magnificent with excellent photos of the band with beautiful textured paper and includes the lyrics to all of their songs.


    Susan Salva is a Staff Writer. Contact her at susan@rockzone.com.

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