A band that’s been together for more than 20 years is rare; much less one that retained its popularity. Not only has Bon Jovi managed to survive the grunge movement of the ’90s and the backlash against “hair bands,” but it also just released its ninth studio album, Have A Nice Day.
With Jon Bon Jovi’s trademark vocals and the straightforward riffs provided by guitarist Richie Sambora, Have A Nice Day ensures any Bon Jovi fan will have just that. The album features 13 tracks, a mix of power ballads and hard-driving rock ‘n’ roll, including the title track, “Have A Nice Day.” On the band’s Web site, the members say they mean the title phrase nicely, but it can also be a “sarcastic response to something that you don’t like.”
The fourth song on the CD, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” is another hard-rocking track. It’s included as a bonus track on the American and Canadian releases, as a duet with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles.
Bon Jovi’s fans looking forward to the band’s new love song will not be disappointed. The song “I Am” is a welcome addition to the Bon Jovi ballad library that includes such classics as “I’ll Be There For You,” “Never Say Goodbye” and “Bed of Roses.” In “I Am” Bon Jovi sings, “When you think that no one is there to hold your hand / I am,” and with the past success the band has had with ballads, it’s easy to believe him. Expect to hear this track at every wedding next year.
Other tracks include “Last Man Standing,” first released as an acoustical version on Bon Jovis box set 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong which was reworked and electrified for Have A Nice Day. “Welcome to Wherever You Are,” is an inspirational offering to those who feel lost in their own lives. “Right here, right now / You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be,” sums up the idea behind this song.
Bon Jovi has made three additional tracks available on the Japanese CD. “Dirty Little Secret,” “Unbreakable” and “These Open Arms” and all are worth the trouble to obtain.The band plans to start the U.S. tour promoting the album this fall.
With this release Bon Jovi has offered a plateful of its usual fare, with catchy lyrics and memorable choruses that will be overplayed on the radio by this weekend. Despite that, we will listen just the same.