“You wanna raise your voice / Don’t be scared to breathe / Don’t be afraid to hurt / Don’t be ashamed in me,” Jon Bon Jovi sings straightforwardly in the title track off of his band’s twelfth album. This aspirational, gung–ho message is nice, but it’s also vague and a bit dated, much like the rest of the album. Gone are the heavy metal solos and unabashedly fun nature of old hits like “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The whole album is almost soft rock in its vibe, with “That’s What the Water Made Me” as the one track that seems like it has a pulse. The bland earnestness of “What About Now" is the sort of thing that could have been excused in earlier albums due to the band’s status as reigning kings of all–American, working–class rock ‘n roll. The fact is, the ‘80s are over, but Bon Jovi is still here.
Sounds Like: Flying down the interstate in some sleepy Midwestern town
99-Cent Download: “That’s What the Water Made Me”