As far as the classic songwriters of rock go, Jon Bon Jovi has always reigned supreme. Every one of his records defined an era or decade, telling a story as time unfolded. And there’s no exceptions. Bon Jovi’s New Jersey showed the life of his music, showing his growth from hometown hero to global phenomenon while showing he had found the perfect formula for success in his sound.
Bon Jovi’s music always has this confidence to it that makes each song undeniably agreeable. You can’t help but feel and accept the message of the songs, which is clear as day in New Jersey. The huge attitude of ‘Bad Medicine,’ its big choruses and tantalizing lyrics offering up a lot of rocking energy and swagger, and ‘Blood On Blood‘ with its big anthemic vibes are only some examples of this. ‘Homebound Train‘ keeps things kicking with a more raucous, jamming attitude, meanwhile the massive guitars on ‘99 In The Shade‘ and the huge vocals of the warm and upbeat ‘Living In Sin‘ make sure the album leaves behind an electrifying presence.
While New Jersey is full of energy and swagger, it has a wide array of moods to keep things interesting. Opening track ‘Lay Your Hands On Me‘ kicks things off dramatically before the big, feel-good style rock comes rolling in. Some tracks grow slowly like ‘Wild In The Wind,’ its acoustic beginnings leading into a huge drive later on. Bon Jovi get more intimate in the sweet ‘I’ll Be There For You,’ an iconic and loving ballad where Bon Jovi sings passionately for someone he loves. Even the interludes have character to them: ‘Ride Cowboy Ride (Mono)‘ is simply fun, while ‘Love For Sale‘ ends the record on a lo-fi but fun, jamming end.
Bon Jovi’s New Jersey shoed the life of his music, the band coming together to deliver some of of their signature tracks and really capturing their perfected heavy rock sound. Bon Jovi’s music defined much of the 80s and still sings loud and proud today - the sign of a true classic.
Favorite Tracks: Bad Medicine, Wild Is The Wind, I’ll Be There For You
Least Favorite Track: Homebound Train
Rating: 79 / 100
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