The new album from Bon Jovi is no frills. The CD comes in a sleeve with what looks like the band name and title just written in haste. This record fulfills his contract with Mercury records, after 32 years. The parting is not amicable and you don’t have to read between the lines to figure that out. The last song is the title track, and Jon pulls no punches with the way he feels about his now ex-label
"After 30 years of loyalty, they let you dig the grave / Now maybe you can learn to sing or strum along / Well I'll give you half the publishing / You're why I wrote this song."
These are all songs that were unfinished from the last 3 records. The album is supposed to be a bridge for the fans until the next record and massive tour in the spring of 2016. It’s also the first record without guitarist Richie Sambora. He left the band part of the way into the last tour. The reasons for his departure have ranged from wanting to spend more time with his daughter, to creative differences, to a power play to get more money after a stadium tour was booked. If the latter was the reason, it was a major fail in a big way because that Bon Jovi tour was one of the highest grossing tours of that year.
This is by no means is this going to be on anyone’s list of top Bon Jovi records, but it is full of some pretty good songs. One of the standouts is We Don’t Run. For those people who think that Bon Jovi doesn’t rock anymore. This song will dispel those rumors.
Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning has the patented Bon Jovi hook and is the only song which Sambora had a hand in. One of the reasons Bon Jovi has been so successful for so long has been their incredible consistency. You can put on anyone of their records and you know what you’re going to get. There are a couple of songs on here that push that boundary without going too far. A song like Who Would You Die For, which for the first two verses and chorus is nothing but an eerie keyboard sound and Jon singing. It then kicks into the full band with a great guitar solo. There is also the very Beatles influenced, Fingerprints.
Admittedly, I am a big Bon Jovi fan. That being said, no one more than me wishes Richie Sambora was still in the band, quite but honestly two of the last three times I’ve seen the band he wasn’t with them. I really don’t miss him on this record either.
Does this album have a Livin’ on a Prayer or Wanted Dead or Alive on it? No. But it is better than 90 percent of anything else I’ve heard this year.