Bon Jovi: Burning Bridges


Now that I had a few weeks to listen, re-listen and reflect of sorts on Bon Jovi’s latest effort “Burning Bridges” it is time for a review.

See, I’m a pretty big Bon Jovi fan – a fan of the big 80s rock that album after album was filled with those jump-on-the-bar and sing anthems. While with each of the recent albums the band’s sound as departure from their signature formula to both country and pop, expectations for this album were low. Confusion surrounded its release – weeks before the release it was unsure if it would even be released in the US – a far left from the normal huge marketing blitz that surrounds a band of this size. Then came comments of it being a “fan album” and being a contract filler for the record label – it was hard to get excited.
The album just isn’t there. Even as a fan – with this supposedly geared towards me – it feels like a collection of B sides and half finished demos from past albums. Big fans of the band may even be able to place what albums each song could’ve been originally written for.
“A Teardrop To The Sea” opens the album with a slow build up that never seems to get to where you think it will go. It sets the mood for the album with it being amid tempo dark song that you’d expect halfway through the album. If this was a concert I’d be headed for the bathroom.
The second track, “We Don’t Run”, picks up the pace and has the polish fans have come to expect from last few Jovi albums.
Only of the biggest absences is clear – Richie Sambora writing, harmonies and guitar licks. What would “Livin On A Prayer” or “Wanted(Dead or Alive)” be without their famous guitar parts or the band’s many ballads without Sambora’s backing vocals?
“Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning” has a classic Bon Jovi feel with a catchy chorus that feels at place with the band early ’00s material. Looking at the liner notes it makes sense – this cut is the only track on the album that Sambora helped write (back when he was in the band).
The rest of the album features unmemorable songs that like Jon Bon Jovi mentioned as being “unfinished songs that we finished” feel still unfinished demos polished up with the latest pop tricks vs. flushing out the lyrics and music to make a great song. For example, take “Who Would You Die For” has moments of being great but instead of expanding on those it feels polished over to hide the weaknesses.
With so little marketing push behind it (guess you can’t blame the record label – think your ex-girlfriend would want to promote you after you told her it was over) and even little acknowledge from the band, one has to hope this was merely a way to release some material to fulfill a contract. There is already talks of an all-new material album in 2016 – save your money for that release.

About Author

Living among the too-many-to-count theme parks of Orlando, FL, Andrew is always looking for an excuse to check out a show, buy some vinyl, modify (instead of play) his guitars, and eat food your mom would consider unhealthy.

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