Album review: Bon Jovi, New Jersey (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 21, 1988

By Steve Newton

There are hundreds of hard rock bands out there that are just as good as Bon Jovi. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have Bon Jovi’s talent for coming up with tunes that are both radio-friendly and capable of hooking into the mass consciousness of record-buyers. When you combine Jon Bon Jovi’s own songwriting skills with those of master craftsman Desmond Child, and then have the resultant songs produced and engineered by local hit merchants Bruce Fairbairn and Bob Rock–look out! And get ready to move a Matterhorn-sized mountain of vinyl.

If Bon Jovi’s new record New Jersey doesn’t sell as many copies as Slippery When Wet (13 million) it’ll be a major surprise, because it’s basically the same album. Same co-songwriter (Child), same producer (Fairbairn), same engineer (Rock), same studio (Vancouver’s Little Mountain Sound), same band, and same brand of good-time, party-your-butt-off, guitar-heavy rock ‘n’ roll.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. It just seems kinda weird that, when there are so many bands doing it just as well, Bon Jovi gets all the glory. C’est la vie!

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