Sunday, 10 July 2011

CD Review: These Days, by Bon Jovi (1995)


Bon Jovi turn the soft dial to the fluffiest setting, and emerge with a collection of depressed and depressing songs about despair, love lost, love abandoned, guitars crying, and breaking hearts. Most of These Days is music to dance slowly to, but only after giving up all hope of happiness and clutching at the straw that snatches of time in proximity to another human are always better than being totally and utterly alone.

It's all good if misery loves company, but none of this makes for enjoyable heavy metal, not even for the poppy sub-genre that Bon Jovi used to dominate. It's only ten years since Bon Jovi were all about the good times of Slippery When Wet, and what a difference a decade makes.

A miserly two tracks, out of twelve, remind us that this band once dabbled in interesting metallic sounds. Opener Hey God is head and shoulders above everything else on the album, a sliding, snarling riff underpinning a beseeching story about almost giving up hope. Jon Bon Jovi is more screaming than singing, but Richie Sambora's guitar takes centre stage on this one, letting loose and having fun despite the downbeat theme. And on Damned there is more guitar goodness in an up-tempo but gloomy song about a tortured relationship.

The rest of the album consists of slow song after slow song after slow song, the pace often coming to a stand-still, the energy seeping out of multiple holes of depression, the emotions alternating between disheartened, discouraged and desolate. These Days just reminds us how much fun those good old days were.


Band:

Tico Torres - Drums
Jon Bon Jovi - Vocals
David Bryan - Keyboards
Richie Sambora - Guitar

Bass by Hugh McDonald.


Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Hey God - 10
2. Something For The Pain - 6
3. This Ain't A Love Song - 7
4. These Days - 7
5. Lie To Me - 7
6. Damned - 8
7. My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms - 7
8. (It's Hard) Letting You Go - 5
9. Hearts Breaking Even - 6
10. Something To Believe In - 7
11. If That's What It Takes - 7
12. Diamond Ring - 6

Average: 6.92

Produced by Peter Collins, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora
Engineered by David Thoener, Obie O'brien.
Mixed by Bob Clearmountain.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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