CD Review: Bon Jovi - Have a Nice Day

Friday, September 23, 2005

Over twenty years ago, Bon Jovi broke onto the scene. It took them a few albums to get it right, but with the release of 1986s Slippery when wet, they had it right, and the album put them firmly on that map. 100,000,000 albums sold later, and this rock band from New Jersey is still cranking out the albums, and their ninth studio release hits store shelves on September 20th in the US.

Titled Have a nice day, this album has twelve tracks, three more are added to overseas releases, making for a total of fifteen songs on the album in its entirety. The album consists of all new songs, minus one track that was previously released on their box set edition last year named “Last man standing”. However, the version on this release is totally different than the version released previously. That version was more acoustic, and this version definitely rocked out some more. The opening of the song reminded me of something off one of their ‘80s releases. The song is Jon’s own message about the state of the music industry today, and at one point he worried about releasing it, keeping it off their greatest hits compilation, This Left Feels Right.

The first single and title track off the CD, Have a nice day, hit airwaves back in July, with a video release in early August. Bon Jovi has been quite busy the past month getting the word out about the release. A short tour is already planned to begin in November and go through January to support the album. The band made appearances at Live 8 and recently a concert with country act Sugarland was taped for air on the CMT network as a part of their Crossroads series. That show premiered on the 19th of September, and as a viewer of the show and having seen Bon Jovi perform live, I have to say that the men from Jersey still have it.

Have a Nice Day contains a mix of what the band is known for - rocking tracks with a few power ballads thrown in for good measure. Production on the tracks for this CD was actually done late last year, after a summer spent in the studio recording. In fact doing dual work by working on the new CD while also working on the box set they released in November, 100,000,000 fans can’t be wrong. However, instead of turning in the finished product, Jon held the CD back, going into the studio by himself to work more on certain tracks and write new material. The band joined him in this effort in early 2005, and the results are what we see now.

The message behind their songs is always clear. It is one of fighting on and keeping the faith. Something that is so hard to do in these times. Jon even has mentioned in interviews about how different this world is since his release of “Livin’ on a prayer” almost twenty years ago. Before it had a message of hope, and now the message of the song has changed to holding one to what little you’ve got left.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is ‘Welcome to wherever you are.” It has a message of accepting where you are in your life at that moment. You have to be happy with yourself, ignoring what others might say about you or to you to bring you down. This ballad is the third track on the album, and it is followed by another track that I enjoy, “Who says you can’t go home?” This track is rumored to also being released to the country airwaves in the form of Jon’s duet with Sugarland’s lead singer, Jennifer Nettles.

Other memorable tracks on this release include “Unbreakable,” “Bells of Freedom,” and “I want to be loved.” My least favorite track on this offering is “Wildflowers.” The lyrics didn’t really grab me any, and it reminded me of one of their earlier tracks off their Crush CD.

As a fan of this group, I am thoroughly pleased with this release. It reminded me of the Bon Jovi of yesterday, but it also had enough newness to it in order to appeal to the audiences of today. Die hard fans of this band shouldn’t be disappointed in the least by this release. I know I wasn’t, and I’ve been a fan of this band almost since day one.

For full tour information, visit the Have a Nice Day tour site found here, and for lyrics and other CD information visit Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day section of their website here.

To check this CD out for yourself check the following retailers: Amazon, J & R or download the album on iTunes

Song to download: Welcome to wherever you are


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