Friday, 17 June 2011

CD Review: Bon Jovi, by Bon Jovi (1984)

With an unassuming album, Bon Jovi, the scrappy band from New Jersey, takes the first tentative steps on a road that would lead to world-wide domination in a few short years. Yes, Bon Jovi the debut album is pretty basic, but it is also basically good.

Sticking to a formula that would serve the band well throughout their career, Bon Jovi is a set of nine songs about love gained, love lost and love betrayed, infused with a light metal edge. Richie Sambora's guitar is crunchy, Jon Bon Jovi's vocals are undeniably soulful, and David Rashbaum's keyboards are prominent. All the songs rely on simple structures, catchy melodies, straightforward lyrics and radio-friendly mid-tempo beats and equally radio-friendly moderate lengths. There is nothing threatening about Bon Jovi's brand of metal, and that is what makes the music both attractive and predictable.

Roulette is the most daring track on the album, Sambora stepping out and leading the charge with a satisfyingly chugging riff, stirring up a higher density of metal compared to most of the rest of the material. But another five cuts on the CD are impressively solid, the band demonstrating early professionalism and talent, and Jon Bon Jovi displaying an instinctive ability to write a fetching hook. She Don't Know Me, the one song not written by Jon, is easily the weakest link on the album.

Bon Jovi is the raw material from which a stellar career was launched. It's not the most original metal ever discovered, but it does play a role representing the more widely accessible metallic range. 


Jon Bon Jovi - Vocals, Guitar
David Rashbaum - Keyboards
Richie Sambora - Guitar
Alec John Such - Bass
Tico Torres - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Runaway - 8
2. Roulette - 9
3. She Don't Know Me - 6
4. Shot Through The Heart - 8
5. Love Lies - 8
6. Breakout - 8
7. Burning For Love - 7
8. Come Back - 8
9. Get Ready - 7

Average: 7.67

Produced by Lance Quinn and Tony Bongiovi.
Engineered by Scott Litt, Jeff Hendrickson and Larry Alexander.
Mastered by Bob Ludwig.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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