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Old 10-01-2021, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted in Trollheart Reviews Albums Nobody Cares About, August 24 2015 (pure coincidence, I do assure you)

Burning Bridges --- Bon Jovi (2014)

Okay then, the first thing I have to say is **** me sideways with a cucumber but that is one horrible album sleeve! It looks like they just wrapped the thing in brown paper and asked a six-year-old to write on it! If this level of couldn't-give-a-****ness translates to the music, then I will be very disappointed and all you haters can laugh and point at me and tell me you told me so. Described as a “fan's album” (whatever the hell that is!) this is Bon Jovi's thirteenth studio album and their first since 2013's What About Now? Unlucky for some? I don't know, but apparently they're already planning the fourteenth for next year, so I wonder how much actual care and attention has been put into this?

Well, according to Jon, the album consists of “song that weren't finished, songs that were, some new ones...” Yeah, getting excited already, JBJ. No, not really. Hopefully I'm wrong, but this whole idea gives me the feel of something that's maybe contractual obligation, or thrown out to keep the fans happy till they can release their real album. Perhaps I'll end up eating my words, who knows, but right now I'm looking and feeling very small in my corner as I prepare to defend one of the most maligned and reviled rock bands since Nickelback.

1. A Teardrop to the Sea: Okay, this is a bit weird the way it starts, kind of downbeat, then that familiar and overused “Woh-oh-oh!” comes in. Nice basswork. Song reminds me of something off These Days, the chorus sounds very familiar. Bon Jovi are known of course for using the same ideas and themes in various songs. Can't place the melody but it is familiar. Not exactly the explosive start I expected, but not bad.
2. We Don't Run: This kind of sounds like a sub-Imagine Dragons song. Meh. Not very impressed I must say. Parts of the vocal are almost delivered in a rap style, and if I didn't know better I'd suspect Steinman's hand in the music, but he doesn't appear to be involved. Okay, it has that us-against-the-world motif that Bon Jovi use so much in their songs, and I will remember it more than the opener, but it's still a little substandard.
3. Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning: Before I even start listening to this, let me say that I am sick of Bon Jovi using Saturday night in their lyrics. That said, it looks like it's going to develop into a decent song, but again, the melody is very familiar. Quite anthemic, probably the best so far.
4. We All Fall Down: The “don't let the bastards grind you down” message is getting a little stale. This is okay, but just okay. Slower song, though not what I'd call a ballad really. Another anthemic chorus. They're really writing for the kids now, which is a little silly, given the age of these guys.
5. Blind Love: Could I hope for a Waits cover? Thought not. Nice piano though, seems like this may be the first ballad. Alright, this is beautiful. Orchestral accompaniment? Can't tell; there's very little information and the Wiki and Discogs pages are useless. Don't even know who's taken Sambora's place on the guitar. Is there something in the fact that this is one of only two tracks Jon writes solo? On the rest he's mostly collaborating with either John Shanks, Billy Falcon or, on one, Richie, which I assume is an older track.
6. Who Would You Die For: This has a somewhat sort of trip-hop feel to it, another quite downbeat song; doesn't really do it for me. Great guitar solo. The middle eighth is stupid though.
7. Fingerprints: This is much, much better. Sort of a swaying balladic song, mostly on acoustic guitar.
8. Life is Beautiful: The “Woh-oh-oh!”'s are back. I guess we need a bit of an uptempo track after the last three, but this is a little weak to be fair. Also, it's a little easy for a millionaire like Jon to tell us life is beautiful. Maybe it isn't for those sleeping rough or who can't find a job. Just sayin', it's not all roses out there and sometimes Bon Jovi seem to live in a world separate from the rest of us.
9. I'm Your Man: Please be the Wham! song, please be the Wham! song, please be the .... aw. That would have been so cool, and also funny. Oh well. Bon Jovi don't really do covers, and the chances they'd do that one... Meh, it's another throwaway. Lyrically it's very close to “I Could Make a Livin' Out of Lovin' You” from Crush.
10. Burning Bridges: Oh. Dear. God. No. Just no. A Country song? Dear God in Heaven, why?

Conclusion: Certainly not the greatest Bon Jovi album I've ever heard. Not the worst either, but some of the filler is hardly even good enough to be called that. There are some very good tracks, but whether they justify the pretty low-quality collection of songs that masquerades as an album here is very debatable. I suppose if you look on this as not really an album maybe you can get away with it, but all I can say is the next one had better knock it out of the stadium or I'll be seriously rethinking my devotion to these guys.

Rating: 3/10
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