wed 22/02/2017

CD: Bon Jovi - This House Is Not for Sale | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Bon Jovi - This House Is Not for Sale

CD: Bon Jovi - This House Is Not for Sale

Has the post-Sambora line-up found its feet?

Bon Jovi – roots music?

Jon Bon Jovi may be many things – a rock star, heartthrob and possessor of a fine haircut, to name but a few. The jury's still out, however, on whether he's actually a great singer. The consensus is more that Bon Jovi's voice is a character instrument and one that works best with Richie Sambora's guitar. Little wonder then, that when the guitarist left in 2014, the band struggled to recapture their old magic. Still, two years have now elapsed, since when many sonic adjustments have been made. So have they now regained their old mojo?

This House Is Not for Sale certainly starts well enough. The title track possesses that unmistakable anthemic, blue-collar, heart-on-sleeve quality that once defined the band. Unfortunately, that's more or less where the good stuff ends. The album is between 12 and 17 tracks long – depending on which version you buy – yet it would take a forensic scientist to tell many of the songs apart. Indeed, one reviewer, on hearing the album previewed live, compared the experience to climbing a mountain. The longeurs, he said, were due to Jon Bon Jovi's interminable between-song narratives. I suspect, however, he may also have had difficulty digesting the sheer quantity of lumpen FM rock. 

Still, rather than dwelling on the album's shortcomings, let's look at the tracks worth listening to. We've mentioned one already – the title track. At the other end of the musical spectrum there's the obligatory six-string ballad "Scars on My Guitar" which has – despite its cringeworthy name – a pleasing country vibe. Also undeniably catchy is the AOR of "Rollercoaster". Finally, on "Devils in the Temple" Jon cranks up the emotion to brew up some real rock'n'roll angst. But, ultimately, it's all too little – Bon Jovi Mk 2 still seems unlikely to win over many fans. 

@russcoffey

Overleaf: listen to 'This House Is Not for Sale'


It would take a forensic scientist to tell many of the songs apart

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