Oh, Holy Cow. Take even a casual listen to Jon Bon Jovi’s lyrics and practically every song since “Living on a Prayer” can be seen as a much less subtle recapitulation of “Born To Run.” So you already know what’s coming when these New Jersey-bred boys serve up another lukewarm platter of Springsteen-lite (See “Hey Joe” and “Right Side of Wrong”) on the group’s eighth studio album, Bounce. Bon Jovi’s lack of musical originality is most obvious on the emetic ballad “Open All Night,” which is nearly identical to another exceptionally lame song on this record, “You Had Me From Hello” — a title he had the audacity to steal from that famous line in the movie Jerry McGuire! Only “Hook Me Up,” a kick drum-driven stompfest that sounds like a misguided attempt to rewrite The Cult’s “Fire Woman,” is the least bit adventurous. Guitarist Richie Sambora holds up his end of the bargain with some crunching riffs — particularly on the not-that-horrible first single, “Everyday” — but even he can’t make these songs interesting to anyone who isn’t already a fan. To the rest of us, Bounce is a one way trip to Yawn City.
Island Records: http://www.islandrecords.com