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Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi 2020

Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi 2020

4.2

Rating

4.2/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Deep, impressive lyrics
  • Great presentation and very up-to-date topics

Flyctory.com Cons

  • Not too strong on the melodic side
  • Ten tough songs make "2020" a bit of tiring

If you already released fourteen albums before and are about to do the fifteenth one, you might run out of album titles. Bon Jovi took the easy option and simply called their 2020 release Bon Jovi 2020. The album, which has originally been scheduled to be released on 15th May 2020, has been delayed due to Covid-19 and has finally been published on 2nd October 2020.

 

Bon Jovi – About The Artist

I will do a short bio only in here – you know more facts than I could write down about these rock legends anyway. The band is named after their lead, Jon Bon Jovi (born as John Francis Bongiovi in Perth Amboy, New Jersey). Jon Bon Jovi started to do music in 1975, the band as such formed in 1983. The original band members were David Bryan, Tico Torres, Alex John Such and Richie Sambora. Bryan and Torres still record with Bon Jovi, Sambora and Such left the band and were replaced by Hugh McDonald and Phil X.

Already the second band album, 7800° Fahrenheit, made it to the Top 10 in several markets in 1985. The two singles You Give Love a Bad Name and Livin’ on a Prayer paved the road to a massive success of the band in 1986, the corresponding album Slippery When Wet sold 28 million units worldwide. All of the following albums reached the top of the charts in a couple of major markets since then. On the singles side, the band had countless big hits including Bad Medicine (1988), In These Arms (1993), Always (1994) or It’s my Life (2000). However, the 2009 We Weren’t Born to Follow has been the last song, which made it to the Top 10 in a major chart listing (Germany #6, Austria #4).

 

Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi 2020 – Track by Track

The ten track album lasts 43 minutes.

1. Limitless

Wake up, everybody wake up
Morning comes, you do it all again
You know the song, it’s on repeat
Found your shoes, can’t find your feet
Grab your wallet and your keys
Better not forget to breathe
Sweat until you’re soaking
Don’t let them see you choking
A teardrop in the sea
Trying to keep your head above water
You’re trying to keep your head above water

This excerpt of the second verse of the first song is already quite illustrative for the whole track, the whole album: Bon Jovi have likely done stronger albums in the past if you just want to party or rock at one of their stadium tours. 2020 is an album which wants to leave statements and includes songs with a message. Regarding that, Limitless is even quite catchy.

2. Do What You Can

When you can’t do what you do
You do what you can
This ain’t my prayer, it’s just a thought
I’m wanting to send
Round here we bend but don’t break
Down here we all understand
When you can’t do what you do
You do what you can

Do I hear a country music track here? At least, the song has a strong touch of country rock – and there is even a version featuring Jennifer Nettles of it.  This song, which deals with the Covid-19 consequences, has obviously not been in the original list of songs for the May publication. I really enjoy it, though.

3. American Reckoning

As said, 2020 is about messages. This also means that it contains deep, tough tracks like American Reckoning. Again, Bon Jovi show themselves more on the country-Americana side of music than as the tough rockers in Keep The Faith times, when they deal with the death of George Floyd in this track. I feel that suits the project quite much.

4. Beautiful Drug

Love is a beautiful drug
I’m talking ’bout, love is a beautiful
A mystery that sets you free, it’s what you want, it’s all we need
Love is a beautiful drug
A beautiful drug

This sounds like a typical Bon Jovi track to me: easy, catchy, rocking. Could maybe a bit harder, but feels like it could be a great one on stage.

5. Story Of Love

I feel that Story Of Love is a real beauty. Unfortunately, I just do not find the right words to say more than that. YouTube needs to help me with this song – find out yourself!

6. Let It Rain

Let it rain, let it rain
Let the rain fall all around
Who’s gonna stop the rain from falling down?

Let It Rain has its slow passages as well, but overall, it is quite a nice straight Bon Jovi rock-touch track. Not too bad.

7. Lower The Flag

Some say we start to die on the day that we’re born
But no one wants to live life on their knees
Maybe we start to die on the day that we’re born
But we deserve to live life in between

This Bon Jovi album is very poltiical – and Lower The Flag topics gun law and mass shootings. Towards the end of the track, Jon Bon Jovi is listening some of the places associated with mass shootings:

El Paso, Texas
Dayton, Ohio
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sebring, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Penn State University
Aurora, Illinois
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Gilroy, California
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
Columbine
Columbine
Sandy Hook Elementary

To me the most intense track of the album.

8. Blood In The Water

Blood in the water
Who’s jumping in?
The devils made his final offer
Now the sharks are circling
Blood in the water
Our fates are sealed
The devils greatest trick
Was just to say he wasn’t real
Satan always used to love to say he wasn’t real

If you long for some light entertainment, music to have a dance to – you stopped this album already anyway. This rock ballad is another lovely piece.

9. Brothers In Arms

No, this one is not a Dire Straits cover. Brothers In Arms is touching harder rock. One of these storytelling tracks on the album. Melodically maybe not in the list of great Bon Jovi ones, but very political and straight in lyrics.

There’s no 7th day in a world without pity
There’s no ball and chain but the change didn’t come
Where’s my better days? Where’s my Jesus saves?
Where’s someone to say?
We got to hang on
We’re brothers in arms

10. Unbroken

In this final track, Bon Jovi focus on the life of a young solidier, who has to cope with the result of war, who is losing comerades.

It’s eighteen months now I’ve been stateside
With this medal on my chest
But there are things I can’t remember
And there are things I won’t forget

Great storytelling for more than six minutes.

 

Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi 2020 – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget to the album:

 

Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi 2020 – My View

Wow, that’s a tough one. But I feel that 2020, even though it takes us through so much struggle and trouble, is simply a good album. The album might not be the right one to be presented in a huge stadium tour, but it has clear statements and definitely is based on great lyrics much rather than being a melodic masterpiece. Maybe melodic masterpieces would simply distract from the message. I take 2020 as it is – and recommend a listen.

 

 

Rock Music Reviews

Here are all media reviews dealing with Rock Music:

 

All “classic” blog posts

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