Have a Nice Day

Studio Album by released in 2005
Have a Nice Day's tracklist:
Have a Nice Day
I Want to Be Loved
Welcome to Wherever You Are
Who Says You Can't Go Home?
Last Man Standing
Bells of Freedom
Wildflower
Last Cigarette
I Am
Complicated
Novocaine
Story of My Life
Dirty Little Secret
Unbreakable
These Open Arms

Have a Nice Day review

Over twenty years ago, Bon Jovi broke onto the scene. It took them a few albums to get it right, but with the release of 1986’s Slippery When Wet, they had it right, and the album put them firmly on that map. 100,000,000 albums sold later, and this rock band from New Jersey is still cranking out the albums. The girls who grooved to Slippery When Wet back in 1986 have gotten married and bought SUVs, but Bon Jovi have kept their arena anthems simple and sweaty – so much so that hating the New Jersey quartet seems silly at this point. Say what you will about Bon Jovi. Say they sold out years ago. Say that they haven’t penned a good album in a decade. Say that Jon Bon Jovi is way more interested in being an actor than being a musician, or that Richie Sambora spends more time being Mr. Heather Locklear than being a hard rock guitarist. Say what you will, but even the biggest hater can’t deny that these guys can write memorable songs about as well as anyone ever has.

Bon Jovi's last album, 2002's Bounce, was an uncharacteristically dour affair, tinged by 11 September. By contrast, Have a Nice Day, their ninth studio album of original material, returns to the bounding pop metal mode of their last hit, 2000's Crush. With production duties shared by band members Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, plus 2005 Grammy Awards Producer Of The Year John Shanks, Have a Nice Day finds the band back in familiar territory, featuring variations of radio rock riffs and strong vocals. Interestingly, politics hasn't fallen off the agenda entirely. Kerry supporter Jon Bon Jovi takes a snarky stance in the title track, reportedly in response to the re-election of George W Bush. With Have a Nice Day, the band has created a new batch of memorable songs. Sure, each song has memorable hooks and choruses, but for the first time in awhile, these feel like material that these guys just enjoyed writing and performing. Songs like Last Man Standing or Complicated are prime examples of this. While Bon Jovi is probably most known for their over the top, syrupy ballads, they don’t have a single one on this album. There are two ballads – Welcome To Where You Are and Bells Of Freedom, but they are not the sappy emotional dirges of Bed Of Roses, Always, Silent Night, etc. That’s not to say they aren’t good though, as Bells Of Freedom, with it’s somewhat veiled message of nationalism and standing strong for our way of life, stands as the best song on the album.

The band has regrouped and come up with what has to be considered their best, most “Bon Jovi-like” album since 1992’s Keep The Faith. Sure, there are moments on this release that seem like they were purposely written for radio (i.e. the lead single Have a Nice Day), but for the most part, Have a Nice Day has recaptured some of the best features of their entire catalog – the non-radio bludgeoned album tracks. While their glory days are behind them, there’s still a lot left in the tank for Bon Jovi when they want to be a band. The chemistry between Jon and Richie is as strong as ever, and the songwriting prowess they have is a well that never seems to run dry for these guys. Have a Nice Day reminds of Bon Jovi of yesterday, but it also has enough newness to it in order to appeal to the audiences of today.

(05.10.2005)
Rate review3.43
Total votes - 146


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