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Have A Nice Day by Bon Jovi

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Reviewed on 9th October 2005.


Have A Nice Day

By Bon Jovi

"100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can't be wrong" declared the New Jerseyites' career spanning box set. Whilst there is no doubting that Bon Jovi have consistently 'shipped units' for over 20 years and won just about every music award going (along with Jon Bon Jovi's Oscar nomination for his solo work) there's a serious divide over the band's credibilty. 'Slippery When Wet' and 'New Jersey', along with their subsequent tours, made Bon Jovi the biggest band in the world, 'Keep The Faith' was a defiant retaliation to those who predicted the death of rock music and 'These Days' an underated dark and brooding triumph. 'Crush' and 'Bounce' had few highlights and the experimental acoustic album 'This Left Feels Right' an unmitigated disaster leaving the vultures swarming and ready for the kill.

'Have A Nice Day' is Bon Jovi's 8th studio album but can be considered as important as their first, with fans hopng for a return to the quality of ten years ago and the critics lurking in wait for another mauling. The presence of Desmond Child as a collaberator is a positive, whilst Britney Spears' writer Max Martin also contributes once more, displaying the band's desire to keep things fresh.

On the whole the album is a success. Only the saccharine drip feed of 'Bells Of Freedom' shows the band's achilles heel; a sweeping ballad with over the top sentimentality. The single 'Have A Nice Day' opens proceedings and kicks things off nicely, a statement of defiance. 'I Want To Be Loved' sounds better than its title suggests and sees the return of Richie Sambora's voice box, first heard on 'Living On A Prayer'. 'Welcome To Wherever You Are' is a theme for the escapist in us all and sums up what Bon Jovi do best. Never musically ground breaking the band have a knack of writing songs for ordinary people. If entertainment is supposed to give you 30 minutes to reflect and take you out of your dull and mundane life then Bon Jovi are masters of digging the tunnel for you. 'Who Says You Can't Go Home' is sing-a-long pop song that's sure to be a live favourite whilst 'Last Man Standing' sounds like 1984 era Bon Jovi, vibrant, energetic and has Jon Bon Jovi spitting out the lyrics as Richie Sambora rips out some crunching riffs.

Once 'Bells Of Freedom' is dispensed with things shift up a gear, 'Wildflower' would be equally at home on a Ryan Adams or Tom Petty album, whilst 'Last Cigarette' is upbeat, fresh and drives along. Laced with Beach Boys harmonies and melodies this is Bon Jovi back on form. Using their heroes' influence rather than trying to actually be them as JBJ has done in the past with Springsteen. The swaggering opening of 'I Am' introduces us a future Bon Jovi anthem, the verses softly seeping through your ears before the rousing chorus kicks in. 'Complicated' is a good old fashioned rock tune that would go Top 10 if released by the next faceless industry compiled 'rock band'. If that same band released 'Novocaine' then it would go No. 1, surely earmarked as a single this is possibly the best thing Bon Jovi have written in the last decade. The chorus is a marketing man's dream; it sells itself. Tico Torres disjointed beats provide the backbone of the verses before the harmonised call and answer chorus kicks in, the kind of tune that induces bouncing without you realising it.

'Story Of My Life' closes off proceedings nicely with another uptempo slice of uplifting pop. There are two bonus tracks on the international version, the second of which is 'Unbreakable' a rock song that sits amongst the rest of the album well. 'Dirty Little Secret' however can feel hard done by not to have made the final cut for the actual tracklisting. Its "dugga dugga dugga dugga! rhythm propels things along whilst the chorus is another that maks you want to get on a stage just so you can jump off of it whilst singing this. It confirms that this is a band not back to their best but certainly within reach of it.

It's an album that contains a lot of quality and will sell lots of copies for sure. There will be those that will buy it and love it before even playing it, there will be those that have their faith restored and should win over a whole new generation of fans, as well as converting some of the doubters.



All replies to this article. Log in to post a reply.

On 11th October 2005 at 15:09 Anonymous 30 wrote...

Deforge you truly are unbelievable...I can't imagine anyone else on the team giving this 4 stars! You stick to your guns mate


On 11th October 2005 at 18:32 Anonymous 3358 wrote...

That's because everyone else would have reviewed the nae on the cover, not the content inside. I'm not afraid to say when Bon Jovi are shit (i.e This Left Feels Right and half of the last 2 albums) but this is an excellent record.


On 11th October 2005 at 21:33 Anonymous 3717 wrote...

It's a great CD!



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