Monday, June 13, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

BON JOVI “New Jersey” (1988)

Bon Jovi labeled their fourth album “New Jersey” out of pride for their home state. Though it seems hard to beat the victorious 30 million sales of "Slippery When Wet", this album carved another important record for being the only hard rock album in history that spawned five singles on the Top 10 of Billboard Hot 100.

Among the singles that conquered the charts, I don't like "Lay Your Hands On Me" as I found it's too boring and disposable. "I'll Be There For You" is a decent generic ballad, but "Bad Medicine" and "Born To Be My Baby" are essential upbeat rockers. And the heart-throbbing backstreet ballad, "Living In Sin", is legendary and I consider it as one of their greatest piece ever penned.

After the previous "Wanted Dead or Alive", Bon Jovi had a big interest in the wild west cowboy theme, reflected on tracks such as "Blood On Blood", "Ride Cowboy Ride", and "Stick To Your Guns". The list of great songs here goes on with the anthemic "Wild Is The Wind" and the acoustical outro of "Love For Sale".

"New Jersey" is a crucial part of Bon Jovi's growing phase and a huge nostalgic memory to many. Remember when hair was long and the hysterical shout of "when you get drunk, I'll be the wine" with guitars on your lap and the neighbor’s girl secretly falling in love with you. Whether you like it or not, Bon Jovi played an important role in bringing many new fans to the rock/metal community, and "New Jersey" is their one thing to blame.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.